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Marc Bishop

Marc Bishop on being at the 4front of recruitment

By Marc Bishop

Chief Executive Officer at 4Front Recruitment

In their innovative adoption of new technologies like AI, Marc Bishop and his co-founded company 4Front are in the vanguard of embracing tech in the recruitment sector.

Marc spent the first two decades of his HR career working for large corporates including British American Tobacco, Reuters, Centrica, and Lloyds Banking Group.

As a specialist in reward and performance management, he consulted on multiple HR reward projects for blue chip organisations before becoming a partner and later owner of Plus HR, growing the company before selling it to a multinational HR management consultancy.

In November last year, Marc co-founded 4Front recruitment, alongside business partner Rene Schuster, combining the expertise of highly experienced recruitment professionals with progressive technology.

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What different strengths do you and your business partner Rene bring to 4Front Recruitment?

My relationship with my business partner Rene is really important. It’s equally important for both of us because we both bring very different things to the party, and I think we're equally inspiring to each other. Rene is the visionary and the strategist and I’m the operational doer guy. Together, we've really thought through what we're doing with the business and how we're going to do it.

What are the specialisms of 4Front Recruitment?

The company is called 4Front because there are four sectors that we are specialising in: construction, engineering, professional services, and insurance.
Those sectors are reflective of the expertise, network and skill set of our experienced recruiters. It's also our view that those sectors, particularly construction and engineering, are likely to see some significant growth.

At the moment, our clients are predominantly insurance company based, and they tend to be small and medium sized insurance organisations with a high growth ambition. The key to it is getting them at that early stage to support them with growth and bringing more people on board.

What are your differentiators from other recruitment companies?

Our use of technology is our key differentiator, we are at the forefront of being able to use artificial intelligence to help us to source candidates.

We’re looking into software that will help us not only source the candidates but understand more about them. Rather than just the presentation of a traditional CV, we can use AI and other tools like personality profiling, to build a much broader picture of candidates for clients. It's not just what they can do and what they've done in the past, it's understanding how they might fit in the team going forward.

The way that we present it is also cutting-edge. We use a lot of video technology both to reach out to clients and to ask questions to candidates via online video, allowing us to screen much more efficiently, rather than traditional shortlisting through a round of interviews.

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"“Our use of technology is our key differentiator; we are at the forefront of being able to use artificial intelligence to help us to source candidates.”"

Chief Executive Officer at 4Front Recruitment

What are the macro factors that have an impact on recruitment?

The single biggest impactor as far as recruitment companies are concerned is the economy.

In very simple terms, when things are growing, people tend to recruit more, when they are in recession, they stop. That presents a challenge for us both as an employer and a service provider because you see a massive boom in recruitment, and then when a recession comes along, you’ll see all of those people back on the market which has an impact, in terms of service provision, to the clients.

We’re trying to use technology to make us more efficient so we can recruit more with less people, so that we don’t have to go through that boom and bust of traditional recruitment companies in terms of upscaling and downsizing.

What advice would you give to companies looking to grow through recruitment?

It’s really straightforward: partner with a recruitment firm that you trust. Many companies put it out to several recruitment firms and because it’s a finite market, those recruitment firms typically bring back the same candidates, so you’re not gaining in that scenario.

A recruitment firm is an extension of you as an organisation because we’re the first people who are talking to prospective candidates about working with you. Working in partnership allows us to find out more about you, your culture, what you’re trying to achieve, and therefore enables us to sell that to prospective candidates.

"A recruitment firm is an extension of you as an organisation because we're the first people who are talking to prospective candidates about working with you."

Chief Executive Officer at 4Front Recruitment

What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

The overall plan is to expand into other services for small and medium-sized businesses such as providing IT support. The strategy is that if you build trust in providing one service, it’s then a lot easier to upsell provision of another service type because you’ve already built that trust and relationship. It also makes it easier for the client because they’ve got a one-stop shop for all their needs.

We’ve coined a phrase that we’re aiming to be the Accenture for small and medium-sized organisations, in terms of offering broad consultancy support.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the business?

It obviously goes without saying that family are incredibly important; I’m married and have two teenage children.  I’m also a massive Arsenal football fan and I enjoy playing golf and driving; I’m a big car enthusiast.

What would you like to be known for?

Being hardworking and supportive of the people who work for me.