Big Four EY joins REC Good Recruitment Campaign

14 September 2015

Accounting and consulting firm EY has joined the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign, following the footsteps of other major employers such as PepsiCo, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz, Santander and Royal Mail.

With over 3,300 corporate members across all regions, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the main association that represents the recruitment industry in the UK. In addition, the REC represents 5,759 individual members within the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP).

In line with the REC’s objective – to promote the maturity of the industry as well as stimulate best recruitment practices – the association a while ago launched the ‘Good Recruitment Campaign’, an ambition that aims at ensuring good practice throughout the resourcing process, from search to selection and hiring. “The Good Recruitment Campaign, created by businesses for businesses, exists to promote the critical importance that good recruitment practice plays in organisational success,” comments REC Chief Executive Kevin Green.

EY - Recruitment

Since the campaign launched a total of 70+ organisations across the private and public sectors have signed the Good Recruitment Charter, including Kellogg’s, Diageo, Yell, PepsiCo, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz, Santander, First Group, Royal Mail, G4S and RWE npower. The campaign is also supported by the CIPD, The FIRM, the Institute of Leadership and Management, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Direct Employers Association, the Confederation of Business Industry, NHS Employers and ACAS.  

One of the latest partners to join the programme is EY, one of the Big Four giants in the accounting and consulting landscape. By joining the initiative, EY pledges to promote diversity and inclusion, offer flexible working arrangements, provide an excellent candidate experience and lead the way to promote best recruitment practices. Dan Richards, EY Recruiting Leader for UK & Ireland, says he is “honoured to be joining the Good Recruitment Campaign”, adding “EY has always prided itself on being best in class for the attraction, selection and retention of top talent within the industry.”

“EY is dedicated to building a better working world, so we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the candidate experience. We believe that being a member of this initiative will align with our future business plans for EY to be the leading global professional services organisation by 2020,” comments Richards.

Other firms that recently signed up to the Good Recruitment Campaign include River Island, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson & Johnson, Wincanton, SAB Miller, Leeds NHS Trust and WaterAid.



High employment drives deals to access fresh talent

09 April 2019

The UK continues to have a historically low unemployment rate, resulting in a tightening employment market and demand for recruitment services. The industry topped £12.3 billion last year, while valuations continued to rachet up. There were were 32 firm acquisitions in the recruitment services space last year, up significantly on the previous five-year average.

Labour markets globally are tightening, particularly in developed economies. At the same time, access to top talent is becoming increasingly difficult to source, as demand for that talent continues to rise. Higher demand has been one of the key drivers for acquisitions in the space. New analysis of the recruitment M&A market, from consultancy firm BDO, looks at current trends and future projections for activity in the segment.

The UK employment rate has grown considerably over the past decade, with the number of NEET decreasing, more women joining the workforce, and older people continuing to work, among other trends. Participation rates hit more than 75% in 2018, up from around 73% in 2014. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.1% last year, the lowest level in more than 40 years.

UK Recruitment Market


The recruitment industry has enjoyed strong growth over the same period, with revenues increasing from around £8 billion in 2014 to £12.3 billion last year. However, the growth rate for the industry is expected to stall for the coming years – the firm is projecting annual growth of 0.1% to 2024. The stall reflects deep seated uncertainties stemming from the future of the UK, from migration to internal employment in an increasingly uncertain future.

According to the firm’s analysis of market trends for UK listed FTSE recruitment companies, their performance over 2018 outperformed the wider FTSE market by a significant market during some months – the end-of-year uncertainty hit both recruitment and non-recruitment firms with relatively equal strength. The drop partly reflects market sentiment about the future of the UK.

FTSE Listed Recruitment Firms Average EV/EBITDA Multiple


The study also considered the multiples growth, average EV/EBITDA multiples, over the past year – which has shown considerable ups and downs. The yearly average multiple of 10.4x was above that of 2017’s 9.9x – although a 26% drop at the end of the year was significant. The drop was tied to the relative volatility in macroeconomic conditions affecting the globe, though another major contributing factor has been Brexit and political instability.

Global M&A

The global recruitment M&A market was particularly active in the UK, with 32 deals last year – a five-year high, and well above the 17 recorded for second-place US. Deal activity in the UK was focused on expertise and capacity in industrial and technical sectors, reflecting skills shortages in those segments. The US was largely focused on healthcare-related M&A, representing 25% of their market.

Overall, of the 92 deals in 2018 (a 21% drop on 2017) generalist firms were the most in demand, at 25% of the total, followed by education at 14% and engineering & construction at 13%. Software saw relatively low demand, at 2%.Investment into the UK by country

In terms of investments made into the UK, domestic investment continues to be the most dominant, accounting for 24 deals. Japan made three deals, although Brexit is seeing the country become increasingly nervous about investment. The US accounted for two deals. The longer-term trend shows that domestic investment is up on 2017, hitting the highest level in five years, while the US has reduced its M&A investment into the UK.

Commenting on the results, the firm noted, “The latest report shows the recruitment sector remains strong and continued to grow through 2018 despite facing many challenges. Notwithstanding the personalised nature of these services, the market continues to evolve, seeing traditional recruitment firms utilising available technology along with new entrants showcasing innovative platforms.”

Related: High UK employment masks troubled economy.