Recruiter to take on 'self-serving' agencies

PLAYFAIR & Noble, a new online start-up out of Edinburgh, is about to spark a UK recruitment industry war with what it describes as "self-serving" high street agencies.

Internet entrepreneur Alex Crovetti is behind the newcompany. He is holding talks with prospective investors and claims that P&N represents a long-overdue ethical business model for the jobs marketplace.

City lawyers appear to agree. The company's website reveals a growing client list including Dundas and Wilson, Balfour Manson, Burness, Shepherd + Wedderburn, Morton Fraser, Semple Fraser, and Caesar and Howie.

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Ian Anderson, human resources director at Semple Fraser, said: "We like the innovative approach which P&N has brought to the recruitment market. It gives us confidence it does what it says on the tin."

One English client, Paul Thomson, managing director of SDC Construction Group, added: "Playfair & Noble are the future of recruitment. They're open, honest and fair to both employee and employer."

Crovetti was senior project manager with Arcadis, responsible for Edinburgh's new Missoni Hotel, before switching to his online business, which was established with his wife Rebecca Klayman along with an executive team.

He said that during an extensive career in the property and construction industry he was constantly pestered by high street recruitment agencies "to hand over exorbitant fees for very little action".

This prompted Crovetti to create P&N and he believes its launch in the midst of an economic downturn is perfect timing.

"Workforces and the employment market go through an element of shrinkage in such times but this means there are more people, many of them professionals, on the lookout for a new position. For employers it means that those who are hiring have a bigger pool of talent available to them, and with Playfair & Noble at a much lower cost."

Crovetti claimed his online commercial creation can save businesses across the UK thousands each year on expensive recruitment costs.

"The recruitment industry is a self-serving entity which benefits neither employers nor professionals, and our aim is to remove restrictions imposed by it.

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"It's all about allowing employers and professionals alike to communicate directly and discreetly without the interference, not to mention prohibitive cost, of a middle man."

Crovetti explained that the P&N start-up model charges 7 per cent and shares half of the fee with the professional who finds a job through its website.

"Traditional recruitment agencies charge employers in the region of 25 per cent of a professional's f irst-year salary," he said. "We also reward referrers with 10 per cent of the fee.

"Also, employers can post all their job adverts and view CVs free of charge," Crovetti added.

"A win-win all round."