REC sends 193 recruitment agencies packing

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, one of the biggest contracting trade industry bodies out there, just told 193 applicants to jog on.

Now I didn’t know this, but apparently it’s next to impossible to actually gain membership in the REC these days. The trade industry body’s compliance standards are strict as all get out, as it requires any recruitment agency interested in joining to be able to demonstrate that they can adhere to the Code of Professional Practice put in place by the industry body and also that they can pass a rather stringent compliance test as well.

Membership in the REC is a pretty big deal. It represents something like 82 percent of recruitment agencies out there, and these are the kinds of firms that handle placing freelancers and umbrella company contractors in contact with clients that need their expertise; they also help permanent employees get matched up with businesses looking for one another as well.

Apparently it’s this test that trips up most of the applicants. The REC put it in place in July 2012, making it a requirement that everyone that wants to be a member has to pass it. Even members that were accepted into the REC before the test was developed were told they had better pass it by December 31st of last year or they were out on their bums; true to their word, the REC ejected some 83 agencies for failure to pull their heads out of their arses and pass the test. The remaining 110 rejected applicants were agencies that weren’t members yet themselves.

The test is rather detailed. Applicants need to show that the understand the REC’s professional practice code and also that they know the relevant laws and legislation in regards to whatever industry or market sector in which they operate. Finally, applicants also have to demonstrate that they’re committed to “high ethical standards,” whatever that means. I assume it has something to do with not being a prick to your contractors.

Even if a recruitment agency passes the test and becomes a full-fledged member of the REC, the fun doesn’t stop there. In fact, all REC members need to re-take the test every two years to prove that they still have what it takes to be the few and the proud. Thankfully, those 83 agencies that were showed the door for failure to pass the test represented only around 5 per cent of the REC’s total membership, as the industry body’s chief executive, a bloke named Kevin Green, said that a full 95 per cent of its members passed with flying colours prior to the December deadline.

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