Sponsored Content: Nick Kernaghan-Andrews, senior underwriter for recruitment insurance at Pen Underwriting, talks about the challenges the recruiting sector is facing

‘Changing’ and ‘challenging’ have become watchwords for many UK industry sectors in recent years.

First, firms had to grapple with Brexit, then the pandemic and then escalating levels of inflation.

Nick Kernaghan-Andrews - Pen Underwriting

Nick Kernaghan-Andrews

Arguably, the recruitment sector has been at the sharp end for all of these challenges, dealing with ramifications that demand versatility, innovation and structural shifts in the way they operate, meet client needs and fulfil contracts.

Now, with a general election called and a change in UK government a genuine possibility, recruiters will need to prepare for yet more prospective change that could take the shape of new regulations affecting employment practices or immigration policy impacting talent availability – and that’s to name just two.

So, whether your clients are the largest of corporate agencies or independent start-ups, there has never been a more important time for specialist broker and underwriter advice, risk profile review and tailored insurance provision to ensure cover matches client exposure.

Evolving landscape

In practical terms, the evolving employment landscape and ongoing supply and demand fluctuations in UK hiring could be leaving your clients inadvertently exposed to new risks or claims, but the recruitment sector’s size and relevance also render it ripe with opportunity for brokers to add value.

Take temporary placement, for example. It’s one of the fastest areas of growth, but also the riskiest, because when recruiters supply a temp, they can be held liable for what they do. It’s essential business owners are getting the right insurance advice.

Brokers also need to be alive to the insurance implications brought on by recruiters’ resilience.

Acute skills shortages in healthcare, hospitality and drivers have been well-documented and recruiters have reacted with commendable creativity, to the extent of offering apprenticeships and training to help alleviate skills shortages and fulfil contract demands.

But have they notified their insurance provider of any new initiatives that sit outside traditional recruitment services to ensure the correct policy covers the additional exposures? And what about policy restrictions on inexperienced candidates that may then attract additional premium or increased policy excess?

Some recruiter products can support such services and be flexible over candidates outside of main criteria, but it is essential brokers check and advise accordingly.

Provider partners

It’s also important to partner with providers that have the flexibility and footprint to be able to cover a diverse range of trades and sectors as ever-changing demands within the UK economy drive similar fluctuations in hiring needs.

It is not unusual for a recruiter to be a hospitality provider one day, then filling technical roles on an offshore oil rig the next. And with every employment sector demanding a variety of indemnity limits, across different covers, can your preferred providers accommodate them all?

As for the upcoming election, it always pays to think ahead. Make sure your recruiter clients have access to additional support in the event of new regulations or policies.

Changes to workers’ rights, minimum wage adjustments and enforcement of existing laws can impact practices and costs for employers but also recruiters. Access to legal helplines or online human resources portals as part of an insurance package can ensure your clients are able to tap into expert advice, stay informed and download up-to-date documents to support their business through any changes.

Whatever the election brings, or economic developments deliver, the UK recruitment sector will always need tailored advice that evolves alongside their own versatility and responsiveness.

So, make sure you have access to specialist underwriters who can discuss the issues at hand and provide tailored cover that meets your clients’ needs.