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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

What does it take to survive a crisis? Ten member stories to guide you

Business advice

At the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, the REC launched a regular podcast with Neil Carberry interviewing leaders and experts from across the globe. These bitesize discussions brought together real-life stories, trends and experiences on how businesses were responding to this novel virus and the calamities it brought. It was an additional source of guidance for REC members as well as the wider industry.

Across these months, we spoke to a number of recruitment business leaders on issues ranging from:

  • Navigating the unknown
  • Leadership strategies
  • Working with clients
  • Workforce planning
  • Managing recovery, and more.

Here you'll find the top discussions for recruitment owners to help you with your future planning. You'll take away new lessons and ideas from fellow businesses who've been through exceptional journeys - both in the UK and international markets.

Empresaria Group

Speaker: Rhona Driggs, Chief Executive Officer, Empresaria Group

How one global staffing company took advantage of the crisis - Listen now

What lessons can we learn from international businesses who used this crisis as an opportunity to innovate? We spoke to Rhona Driggs on the key lessons they learnt during the crisis and what advice they'd give to fellow recruitment businesses. You'll hear about:

  • How the pandemic has affected the Empresaria Group
  • How the Empresaria Group has tailored their approach to clients, staff and their candidates
  • What innovations they brought into their operations as a result of the crisis
  • Key differences the Empresaria team has noticed about international responses and its impact on their operations
  • Real-life lessons on future business planning for recruitment business owners and leaders.

Kinetic Plc and Employee Ownership Association


  • Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association
  • Neil Smith MBE, Managing Director, Kinetic Plc

What makes a successful employee ownership strategy - Listen now

Employees are the backbone of any successful business. Ever considered 'employee ownership' as a succession strategy for your recruitment business? Hear Deb Oxley OBE and Neil Smith MBE discuss the power of this model, Kinetic's move to this model, key learnings for fellow recruitment business owners and how it has impacted their performance as a business.


Speaker: Kevin Freeguard, CEO, Gattaca

The future of local and international recruitment - Listen now

With the Brexit deadline looming large, what is your game plan for survival? Thinking international is a great starting point, and there are plenty of success stories in the recruitment fraternity from where you can gather inspiration. One such example is Gattaca, an international recruitment business with more than 800 staff across the world. In this episode, you'll hear:

  • Gattaca's outlook on sectoral shifts during the crisis
  • Tips for future workforce planning to meet client needs
  • Impact of remote working on business performance
  • Lessons and trends from Gattaca's international business
  • Advice on building international recruitment firms

Kelly Services and Search Consultancy


  • Richard Bradley, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Kelly Services
  • Richard Vickers, Chief Executive Officer, Search Consultancy

How recruiters can build back better - Listen now

This episode asks Richard Bradley and Richard Vickers what opportunities they see and what the Government can do to help the labour market. Both Richards were clear on the importance of the industry's role in working with the Government on schemes such a Kickstart to help get the labour market back to full strength.

Sanctuary Personnel

Speaker: James Rook, CEO, Sanctuary Personnel

What the future holds for health and social care recruitment - Listen now

If you're looking for insights into how an individual market has fared during the pandemic, we recommend Episode 35 featuring Sanctuary Personnel's CEO James Rook. James gives real insight into the health and social care sector, how Sanctuary has dealt with COVID-19, and how temporary workers have been vital to the NHS during the past few months.

Independent Clinical Services (ICS) and Staffline


  • Mike Barnard, CEO, UK Independent Clinical Services (ICS)
  • Frank Atkinson, Group Managing Director, Staffline

Managing recovery post-lockdown - Listen now

How did two major sectors - healthcare and logistics - react to the crisis to keep the nation moving and lead the recovery? Hear Mike Barnard and Frank Atkinson discuss:

  • Their lessons in managing client relationships during the crisis
  • Challenges they faced with candidate screening and selection, and innovations that made it seamless
  • Shifts in leadership styles in driving change
  • Lessons from the crisis that have opened new growth opportunities
  • What flexible working looks like going forward
  • How ICS and Staffline are planning their return to work.

Harvey Nash and The Staffing Group


  • Bev White, CEO, Harvey Nash
  • Jeremy McGrail, Co-Founder, The Staffing Group

Weathering the COVID-19 storm - Listen now

You'll hear about:

  • How leaders Bev White and Jeremy McGrail adapted to the crisis from the start
  • Measures they've put in place to protect staff wellbeing
  • How they are looking after their clients, contractors and candidates
  • How they used national and global insights to update strategies
  • Key advice for smaller agencies on navigating each phase and planning ahead.

Check out our podcast channel for more stories from across the globe including industry influencers, labour market experts, international trade associations and employers.

REC2020: A guide for future-focused leaders

This digital guide, featuring curated lessons from the leading experts in the industry, will equip you with insights to plan your future strategy with confidence. Access it for free here.