Market Leaders Pick Their Market Leader: Who's just the job in recruitment?

Richard Martin

Chief Executive

Adecco Alfred Marks

THE RECRUITMENT industry is all about building relationships with people in a strong sales environment. We aim to enable clients to get through their employment peaks and troughs and we help our customers - the people who contact us in search of employment, be it temporary or permanent - to build a career through the placements we offer them. More people are seeing recruitment agencies as a route to developing a long-term career. The size of our industry and its contribution to the overall economic activity of the country are under- estimated. We are working hard to make people realise what an important part we play and include us in legislative decisions. Another thing we are aiming for is to grow as a company within an industry which is rapidly expanding but to retain the personal service we are proud of. As for people I admire, Aled Morris of Office Angels has very high business standards and is a good model in terms of his relationships with clients and temps.

Charles Walker

Communications Director

Blue Arrow

THE EMPLOYMENT industry is becoming more professional and more service- orientated. It is growing up. To shine in the industry you need to be able to demonstrate the ability to innovate and prioritise well. Ultimately, this is a people business and people respond well to enthusiasm and motivation. Traditionally, people came to work in recruitment from recruitment. Now people want to recruit people from specialisations, because that will help us to get the right fit every time. That's how you get ahead. The people I admire are those who are our stiff competition - high street agencies such as Reed and Adecco Alfred Marks. We are all competing in many of the same market places and to lead the market we have to strive to have the most attractive packet.

Christine Little

Chief Executive

Federation of Recruitment

and Employment Services

ONE OF the more dramatic changes in the industry over the years has been its move from dealing primarily in secretarial and clerical placements to specialising in all manner of niche markets. It has also become far more sophisticated in marketing techniques, client-relation building and the technology. We have to make sure we keep ahead of all these developments. Lots of people have the idea that recruitment consultants have a nice time sitting behind their desks talking about other people's careers. In fact, it is very much a sales- and marketing-orientated job. There are many people I admire, particularly in those organisations which have set up training schemes to add value for their clients. One company which has done this particularly effectively is Mayday in London which has set up the schemes and is busy helping low-skilled people and long-term unemployed back to work. I admire those companies which are trying to put something back into the market and industry.

Fintan O' Toole

Managing Director

Securicor Recruitment services

I ENJOY the mix and variety this young and dynamic industry throws up every day. It is developing so rapidly, in part because the demography of the workforce is changing - people are looking for more flexible working patterns. To excel you probably need to be resilient more than anything. A sense of humour also helps and you should also be determined to deliver quality service and lead by example. Christine Little is the very impressive chief executive of the Federation of Recruitment and Employment Services (FRES) who is helping us all to speak with a united voice in this time of impending legislative change. I'm a new boy in the industry so it's not easy to pick anyone in particular out but Charles Walker from Blue Arrow is an impressive character. He has a clear view of the issues facing the industry and doesn't shy from speaking his mind.

Grahame Caswell

Managing Director

Kelly Services

CONSOLIDATION IS the key word in the recruitment industry. We are one of the larger corporate account suppliers and so consolidation suits us. The customers are getting more sophisticated and buy more cleverly from us because they know where we should be able to reduce costs. This may make life more difficult for us but it does mean our organisation becomes more efficient. It is a cut- and-thrust business, so people who are confident, commercial, determined and who want to win tend to get ahead. I respect people and companies who have been in the business some time and who have built their business organically - Reed for example.

Sue Smith

Chief Executive

Institute of Employment

Consultants

THIS INDUSTRY has experienced massive growth. This has brought with it increased professionalism and an overall raising of standards. Another change has been in specialisation. Increasingly, large companies are creating specialist divisions and small companies crop up to cover niche divisions such as education. What clients are beginning to recognise is that they need to leave selection - specialist and general - to professionals. It is expensive and time-consuming for companies to do their own recruiting and we understand the clients' needs and their language so we can respond effectively and rapidly. It works to the candidate's advantage too, because they know they have more chance of getting the job they want if they go to an agency.

To succeed in recruitment, you need good interpersonal skills and a sound knowledge of your sector and the law. I'm impressed by companies using progressive and innovative methods such as Adecco Alfred Marks which used research to find out what its clients and what its candidates want. I'm also impressed by Eden Brown which does a great deal in the public sector - it is busy forming partnerships with industry bodies. Greater co-operation and collaboration will work for everyone's benefit.

James Reed

Chief Executive

Reed Executive

THE CUSTOMER is becoming more demanding and it is our job to meet those demands as best we can, to retain our place in a very competitive market. That is what interests me and that's what I enjoy, competition. The recruitment market in the UK is the world's second-largest and it's highly fragmented, unlike France with only a few agencies. All the agencies in Britain are competing for the same people and we are trying to be the leader of all these agencies. This makes for stimulating days. The competitors I would be wary of are those spotty youths in a garage who are thinking of new ways of doing things - the Bill Gateses and Steve Jobs of the recruitment world. But the Select group, led by Tony Martin, was one of the outstanding success stories of the Nineties.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...