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REC procurement campaign focuses on higher end recruitment

REC procurement campaign focuses on higher end recruitment

The way that recruitment services are bought in by both public and private sector clients is one of the major challenges for the industry.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederations (REC) ongoing campaign on procurement policy has recently focused on how this is affecting specialised agencies supplying highly skilled staff as well as the executive search market.

One of the aims of the REC's campaign is to highlight the specific nature of higher end markets such as interim management, executive search and IT recruitment.

Recent meetings with procurement organisations have been used to raise this awareness and to discuss current and forthcoming contracts that will provide real opportunities for recruitment businesses and search agencies.

Commenting on the significance of the current campaign, Paul Botting, Chair of the Interim Management Association (IMA) said: "There has - typically - been a lack of real understanding by the procurement community of the specialised nature of interim management services. This has led to some real showdowns with procurement organisations in the past.

Progress has been made but we need to keep building our relationships, particularly with public sector procurement professionals as there is increasing recognition that interim management is a cost-effective alternative to using business consultants.

The RECs procurement campaign also involves providing agencies with the right tools - such as legal support and training - to compete for work. This comes at a time when the categories of jobs that are covered by large scale procurement exercises are continuing to expand.

Responding to this trend, Jeff Brooks, Chair of the REC IT& Comms Sector Group, said: The higher end of the recruitment market will inevitably continue to come under greater scrutiny from procurement departments. We must ensure that the agenda is not just about cost saving but is also about rewarding high standards and ensuring that the rights skills are in the right place at the right time. This focus on quality is not just in the interests of agencies but will also ensure that employers can deliver their front line services.

As part of the REC campaign on public procurement, its External Relations team met recently with the Office of Government Commerce, the NHS Purchasing & Supply Agency, the Scottish- based organisations, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Central Government Centre of Procurement Expertise.

Changing employer needs and future procurement priorities are also issues covered by the RECs Future of Employment Working Group (FEWG).


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