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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

A letter to members from our outgoing Chair, Chris Moore FREC

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Reflecting back to 2013 when I first joined the REC Council, our world was a very different place. Inside the REC we had recovered from the 2008/9 economic downturn and replenished our financial reserves through careful cash management and prudent investment decisions. If I fast forward my memory to 2017, I clearly remember setting out my stall for what I wanted to achieve in my three year term as Chair of the REC. I had three objectives in my manifesto:

  • To ensure our organisation operated with an enhanced ‘Members First’ mindset.
  • To invest in technology to make the REC more efficient and effective in delivering its objectives.
  • To modernise our governance structure, making the organisation more responsive and agile, but with its roots still firmly set within its membership.

As we move closer to the formal end of my three year tenure as Chair we have much to celebrate, and also much to focus upon.

Before I summarise our performance against my three objectives, it would be remiss of me not to mention a number of people who have been hugely influential in my relationship with the REC, and with the performance we have achieved in the same period.

During my initial time on the Council, Kevin Green was CEO and between us we built a great working relationship that is still flourishing today. I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to Kevin for guiding us through the turbulent economic times, for replenishing our financial reserves, for helping with my induction into the role of Chair, and for starting work on my three objectives for the organisation.

When Kevin decided to move on after a decade in his post, we faced the task of finding a new CEO to take the REC forward. A thorough search and selection process delivered us with a new style of leader. Neil Carberry joined us from the CBI and for the past 18 months, Neil and the leadership team have worked tirelessly to evolve us into an organisation capable of leading this incredible industry of ours through the next phase of its journey. I want to formally thank Neil for joining us, for investing the energy and enthusiasm required to succeed in this role, and for matching my expectations around delivery and pace step for step.

The culmination of Neil’s arrival, the dedication of his leadership team, the selfless contribution of time from the REC Council, and the additional diligence and challenge from Jeanette Barrowcliffe, Rebekah Handford, Jaqueline Hilton and Sarah Thewlis on the main REC Board has enabled us to deliver against all three of my objectives.

  • We have an entire organisation with complete focus on its members.
  • We have invested in and delivered a new CRM to drive member engagement to a whole new level, and we have launched a new website that will transform the services we can offer and the mechanism by which they are accessed by members.
  • We have designed and gained approval for a new governance environment that will see the organisation become more agile, have access to expert guidance and input from within our sector, and also expertise from outside our industry when we need it.

I feel incredibly proud to have been part of this organisation, as a member for many years, as a Council member, and ultimately as its Chair for the past three years. I will remain an activist for our industry for many years to come but my final task will be to ensure the organisation is left in good shape and under the stewardship of a new Chair.

This brings me onto the final part of my message to you all. We are living in extremely challenging times, none of us could have predicted Covid-19 and the impact it has had on us all, both professionally and personally. I can’t speak for other industry sectors but I feel I have permission to speak on behalf of ours when I say that we are an incredible breed of people, we never step aside from a crisis, we accept it for what it is, we adapt, and we overcome it. There will be tragic stories from within our businesses, our teams and our families, but I also know there will be stories of heroism, courage, determination and, of course, success. I know this because we are resilient people, we change the lives of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers every single year, and we will get through this.

We have to remain a formidable force of good, and I encourage you all to work with the REC, to allow us to champion the industry, its people, and to ensure we continue to strengthen our voice with decision makers.

Best wishes to you all and thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chair.

Chris Moore