Liam chairs REC’s life science meeting

Director and co-founder of the CK Group Liam O’Connell and also Chair of REC’s Life Sciences Executive Committee chaired  the REC’s Life Science meeting.

The REC’s Life Sciences Sector Group met on Thursday the 12th of March at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s sumptuous Burlington House. A total of 35 attendees, claiming literally every seat in the house, discussed the question of ‘third party scientific recruiters: friend or foe?

The event had representatives from Kellys OCG, Fieldglass, Volt and Chemistry World among others arguing their causes.

Here is a short summary of the meeting;

Thorsten Koletschka, Global Talent Strategist for Kelly OCG strongly argued that third party recruiters are recruiters’ friends not foes, stressing recruiters and RPOs can work together as partners. He gave three recommendations for success when working with an RPO or MSP:

  1. Define your unique position within the talent supply chain
  2. Make strategic investments in relationships with your third parties
  3. Know what a high-performing programme looks like and avoid those that will not work for you.

Claire Bubb, Programme Manager at Volt Consulting Group, also argued that recruiters and third parties can work together, discussing in detail Volt’s experiences as a Managed Service Provider for Pfizer. This relationship has been highly successful, with 100% of hiring managers at Pfizer happy with their services and 97% considering it fast and efficient.

Mikael Lindmark, Vice President at Fieldglass, discussed their services and the growing demand for internal oversight and control of recruitment processes. He also examined the changing demographic and technological trends impacting on recruitment, pointing out that non-payroll labour is now the largest spending category for many companies, totalling $3.3 trillion annually.

Following the presentations there was a panel discussion and questions from attending members. The key take away message from the session was that third party scientific recruiters are now an established part of supply chains for large companies and recruiters must learn to work with them.

Adam Brownsell, Editor of Chemistry World spoke on behalf of the Royal Society of Chemistry, focusing on the recruitment channels offered by the magazine.

Lastly, Kevin Green, CEO of the REC gave a brief update on the REC’s Scale Up Live Campaign, which helps members to grow their business, and the REC’s manifesto for the 2015 Election


This meeting was very productive and each member took away new and interesting thoughts. The event would not have been possible without the efforts of the Life Sciences Executive Committee and in particular the chair, Liam O’Connell.


Find out more about Liam here

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REC supports bid for international STEM students

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee has published a report on International STEM students which has included recommendations made by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Recommendations made by the REC were based on evidence they had collected which highlighted the struggle to fill key, in-demand STEM positions across the UK, traditional filled by international candidates.  The change in international student VISA’s has seen far fewer applicants for specialist STEM positions resulting in vital skills gaps. The desperate need for a wider pool of talent to ensure UK businesses can continue to forge ahead formed the basis of the REC’s recent advice to the House of Lords.

The recommendations, which included the reinstatement of the Post Study Route, are being considered so the struggle to fill specialist STEM jobs may soon be over.

Contact CK to discus your recruitment needs


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REC Reveals Ways to Fill Skilled Work Vacancies

Operations Director Liam O’Connell has recently attended an REC Skills Summit in London, which was intended to explain the disconnect between those out of work and the vacancies in many areas that could be filled.

The Summit brought together many from across a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, engineering and technology, so as to try to address the issues facing them. It is clear from these discussions that there is a significant skills gap, with many employers predicting these issues to continue for the near future.

To combat these problems, the REC have come up with a variety of methods, from investments in skills training by businesses, to apprenticeships created thanks to government policy. The apprenticeship policy seems as though it would be most effective, as around a quarter of employers said that they did not hire young people due to lack of skills or experience. It is necessary to train these young people in order to ensure that the skills are there in the future, rather than seeing the gap widen further.

If you are someone who is looking to find a job in the science sector, please click here to search our jobs, now

BBC News story     Science Jobs

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CK Group Recruitment Consultants Pass the REC in Diploma in Recruitment Practice!

REC Pic Meera & AndyCongratulations to our two Recruitment Consultants, Meera Pattni and Andrew Bolton for passing their REC in Diploma in Recruitment Practice with flying colours!

Meera and Andrew covered four modules as part of the diploma programme including:

  • The Recruitment Process
  • Recruitment Law & Ethics
  • The Recruitment Project
  • Practical Interviewing Skills

The Diploma in Recruitment Practice is one of the recruitment industry’s leading qualifications and aims to give recruiters detailed knowledge and confidence to provide clients and candidates with a high quality consultancy service.

Meera Pattni, a Recruitment Consultant at CK Regulatory, specialises in Regulatory Affairs Recruitment. You can contact Meera at

Andrew Bolton, a Recruitment Consultant at CK Science, specialises in recruitment for the chemical and food industries. You can contact Andrew at

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HR in Pharma Networking Event Preview – Fiona Coombe

With the HR in Pharma Networking Event fast approaching, we would like to provide delegates and prospective delegates with a taster about the topics our guest speakers will be covering on the day.

In the first of a two-part series, Catherine Gutsell interviews Fiona Coombe of the REC to find out a little more about what Fiona will be covering on the day.

To reserve your place at the HR in Pharma Networking Event taking place on Friday 25th June 2010, please contact Catherine Gutsell at

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Philippa is top student

PhillipaA Sheffield recruitment consultant who specialises in placing scientists within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is the top student in the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Diploma in Recruitment Practice (DipRP) examination. Philippa Robertson from CK Science, a specialist scientific and engineering recruitment consultancy came top in the examinations which were sat by 208 students across the UK. Having taken a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield, Philippa worked in a sales and marketing role before becoming a recruitment consultant 18 months ago. Of her achievement, she said: “I was thrilled to hear I had become the top Diploma student and I was so pleased that my hard work studying and support from my colleagues had paid off. I was also delighted to be rewarded by CK Science with the prize of a holiday for my efforts.” With regards to her future ambitions, Philippa says she would like to continue working in the pharmaceutical sector and maybe one day manage her own recruitment branch.

Liam O’Connell, Director of CK Science in charge of the training and development said: “We are very proud of Philippa’s outstanding achievement, she approached her course with the same enthusiasm and determination that she tackles her role here at CK Science and it is satisfying to see her efforts recognised.”

“Having put all our recruiters through the course, we are convinced that the Diploma, coupled with additional internal and external training courses, gives recruiters confidence to represent CK Science and the recruitment industry to the highest professional standards.”As such, we look forward to continuing our professional working relationship with REC’s qualifications and training departments in the future.”Judith Armatage, the REC’s Director of Professional Development, said: “My congratulations go to Philippa, and all the students who passed their Diploma in Recruitment Practice. This year, more than 3,000 will have qualified to Certificate, Diploma or Degree level. This confirms that the industry takes the issue of standards and the development of its staff very seriously indeed.”Helen Reynolds, the REC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer said: “Working within such a niche sector of the recruitment industry, it is real credit to Philippa that she has achieved such a wonderful result in the DipRP.” Picture shows: Philippa Robertson from CK Science, the REC’s top student in the Diploma of Recruitment Practice.

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