I am one of only 200 members UK-wide of Elite Leaders (www.eliteleaders.co.uk) “a peer to peer learning forum for the owners and managing directors of recruitment companies. Its aim is to bring advantage to its members and to help the ambitious take their company to a higher level. It is owned and chaired by some of the sharpest business minds in the sector, people who have achieved great success, and wish to give something back to the recruitment industry.”

The member MD’s are divided into regional groups of approx 10 and meet once a month – the opportunity to air my views falls on the first Wednesday in the grand setting of what was the Chairman of The Pru’s office – complete with en-suite bedroom – when they were headquartered at Holborn Bars – to debate topical issues affecting our respective firms and to listen to an industry heavyweight dissect a particular element of recruitment. Each and every time I come away brimming with new ideas to implement back in the office to the benefit of my candidates and clients alike. Oh how the team look forward to those debriefs 😉

Yesterday morning Jeff Brooks was the invited speaker and the topic was ‘How to get the best for your Company from Managed Service Programmes (MSPs)’.

Jeff started in IT in 1970 and entered recruitment in 1984. He has built three Agencies from scratch, selling two of them in the 1990s and worked as Sales Director of Parity’s Resourcing arm from 2000 to 2006. Jeff is a Board Member and Fellow of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation REC (www.rec.co.uk) (an organisation of which my ten years+ as an agent affords me Individual Membership status myself) and now works as an independent consultant within the industry providing advice and mentoring to owner managers, often as a Non Executive Director, as well as delivering training programmes to recent entrant recruiters. Jeff has also been a Local Councillor since 1992.

Jeff presented on his experience managing several major Managed Service Programmes for companies such as ICI and Lehman Brothers. Jeff has been managing such services since 1995 and covered the issues surrounding contractor migration programmes which are often a part of the Managed Service arrangements. Managed Services, sometimes referred to as Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), make up over 6% (over £1.5b turnover) of the recruitment market and is a growing factor in the industry. Jeff provided great advice on how to work with these services and get the best out of the arrangement. How do you maintain your supply line when the new service is implemented? How do you protect your margins? How do you continue your previous relationship with the end customer? All of these areas were covered in what was a very informative session from somebody who has, at times, run over £40m of contract staff and permanent placements per annum across all disciplines.

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