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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC Corporate Membership Case Study: Curo Services

Business advice

“One of the things that I liked about the application process for the REC was the fact that you guys actually test members and that is not always the case with some membership organisations.”

A tale of compliance, GDPR, and Space

Compliance is key to recognition

Founded in 2006 by Karen Field and Mark Sewell, Curo Services are today pioneers in Microsoft talent solutions providing permanent technicians and freelance subject matter experts to clients across the UK, and proud members of the REC.

Having joined the company in 2014, Curo’s Head of Marketing, Graham Smith recognised that the company have been operating very much under the radar. Although experts in their field, Curo lacked visibility and accreditation to validate their professionalism in serving the industry and to recognise them for the great work they’re doing.

“We’re great, but it’s always nice when somebody else says you’re great. So that is where the REC fitted in. I felt as though we needed to be seen as a company of substance and REC membership certainly gives that.”

Joining the REC as Corporate members in 2015 was the first step to establishing Curo as a compliant recruitment business serving the Microsoft contractors market.

All members (new and existing) must pass the REC Compliance test which assesses recruitment businesses on their knowledge of the relevant industry legislation and the REC’s Code of Professional Practice. If an agency uses the REC logo it means that they have passed the Compliance test and are required to adhere to the REC Code.

 “I liked the idea that actually you do test to make sure that the company has a true understanding of the recruitment market. And, more importantly for us, a true understanding of recruitment laws.”

Their REC membership combined with their partnership with Microsoft puts Curo Services as a front-runner in this space. REC membership is a badge of quality which tells clients that you strive to deliver the right people every time, that you really care about what you do and have an unmatched level of professionalism.

IR35 – “REC’s support is certainly worth the fee”

With 80% of their business related to Microsoft contractors, the upcoming changes to IR35 off-payroll legislation are critical for Curo, and their clients.

According to REC members, off-payroll working legislation is among the most difficult tax legislation to understand. With some businesses relying on many thousands of contractors, adjusting to the requirements will be a considerable administrative and financial burden. The REC Policy and Legal teams have been working closely with members and external partners to delay the implementation of IR35 into the private sector, while also supporting members with helping them prepare for any changes should IR35 comes into effect in 2021.

“It’s really great that you guys have been monitoring that and been giving our side of the story to government and lobbying on the industry’s behalf.”

As part of REC membership, all recruitment businesses registered with the REC get free and unlimited access to legal support, policy advice, plus member-exclusive benefits to practical seminars educating members and their clients on the changes ahead.

“We still need to prepare our clients for it because under the current proposals it’s going to have to be them who has to determine whether the contractor is in or out. So that service alone means that membership is certainly worth the fee.”

A GDPR inspired ‘Space’ campaign – literally!

Three words – Integrity, care and respect. These are the core components of Curo’s culture which shines through everything they do – even their Space campaign inspired by GDPR. Towards the end of 2017, when businesses were gearing up to prepare for one of the biggest legislative changes to data protection, Curo saw an opportunity. 

Targeting a niche market of 35,000 contractors in the UK, Curo needed something monumental to make an impact. Following a series of inspiring events involving Satya Nadella and the Surface Book 2 laptop, Graham and his team initiated the ‘Space campaign’.

The idea was simple – launching a Microsoft Surface Book 2 into Space containing a message for their target market.

The message: Curo will go the extra mile for members of their Talent Community – even 21 miles into Space!

The rationale: To use this space campaign to invite UK Microsoft Contractors to register with Curo for interesting contract jobs, and by doing so, give Curo marketing consent (opt-in).

The stunning visuals of Space and the Earth’s horizon resulted in 38,000 views of the video on YouTube and the campaign being listed in the final of 3 marketing awards.

“We attended one of the workshops that REC organised around GDPR. We recognised that to continue a relationship with candidates we needed to get their consent and we also needed to ensure that our database, as far as is reasonably possible, included the vast majority of those 35,000 Microsoft contractors.”

In 2018, the REC offered a range of practical workshops on GDPR, along with legal guides and practical infographics, and our dedicated legal team were available to offer help and advice when needed. This tradition continues with the REC offering in-depth support for legislative changes affecting recruitment businesses, through a suite of tools, resources, events and thought leadership.

All content accurate as of November 2019. Find out more about Curo Services at

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