Recruitment profession backs universal standard


Over three quarters (77%) of recruitment professionals at Director level support the development of a universal ‘best practice’ standard for the UK recruitment sector. That is according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

APSCo surveyed its membership following a consultation on the proposed initiative at their September members’ meeting which was attended by an impressive group of stakeholders from organisations including the British Standards Institute (BSI), the department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the CIPD.

The research also found that most members (74%) believe that the current regulatory regime does not do enough to provide clients, candidates, Government and investors with confidence in the compliance and professionalism of UK recruitment businesses.

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Respondents cited the main advantage of a single ‘kitemark’ as being ‘improved standards’. Enhancing the reputation of the sector and outlawing ‘rogue’ agencies were also seen as important factors. ‘Increased bureaucracy’ was identified as the main potential disadvantage.

Commenting on the findings, Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said:

“As anticipated, these results confirm our suspicion that there is firm support for development of a universal standard in recruitment.”

“Our members clearly see the benefit of having the tools to differentiate themselves as premium providers of staffing solutions. Furthermore, conversations with end user clients confirm that they too see the benefit of a universal standard.”

“I am delighted that the majority of respondents (76%) agree that APSCo, working alongside other recruitment associations, should continue to drive this initiative. Our next stepis to conduct a survey of all recruitment firms, across all sectors, to confirm if it is only those providing services to the professional sectors (APSCo members) that are keen on this new standard, or indeed, as we suspect, it is going to be supported across all recruitment specialisms. Meanwhile, we will continue to consult with BSI and other stakeholders to move this project forward.”