James Reed is chairman of REED, which was founded by his father, Sir Alec Reed, in 1960. The company has 2,883 permanent employees working across 456 business units in 137 locations worldwide. Reed is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and was formerly an associate of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and a member of the Institute for Public Policy Research’s business-led taskforce on race equality and diversity in the private sector. Reed is coauthor of the best-selling books Put Your Mindset to Work and Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again.
Melanie Forbes, CEO of Guidant Group, inspires and motivates teams to maximise performance and achieve strategic objectives. She is also committed to challenging the norm in the wider recruitment industry. A passionate promoter of gender equality and disability inclusion in the recruitment sector and beyond, Forbes has championed initiatives such as Keeping Woman In (KWI), Women in Recruitment and the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), of which she is a board member. Under her leadership, Guidant Group was the first MSP / RPO provider to be recognised as a Disability Confident Partner by the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions.
Alistair Cox is chief executive of Hays, which had revenue of £3,697 million in its last financial year. He has been CEO since 2007. Prior to Hays, he was chief executive at Xansa plc from 2002. Cox is also a non-executive director of 3i Group plc. He is a chartered engineer and has an MBA from the Stanford Business School in California.
Chris Pullen was appointed group chief executive of Staffline in January 2018. He joined the company in 2015 and was initially responsible for group mergers and acquisitions. He was designated as group CFO and an executive member of the board in 2016. He is also a member of the nominations committee. Pullen first joined the group from Regus PLC, the FTSE 250-listed provider of flexible working solutions, where he was global managing director of its core Office division. He previously held the role of CEO of APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd., which provides parking services across the UK, where he led a turnaround and subsequent significant growth, as well as senior management positions at ITC Legal Services Ltd and National Car Parks Ltd.
Gary Elden, CEO of SThree, was awarded by the queen in 2016 with an Officer for the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to diversity in business. A year earlier he won the prestigious Black British Business Person of the Year award.
Elden has been CEO of SThree since January 2013, after serving as its deputy CEO since May 2012. Before that, Elden was SThree’s chief strategy officer. He has held a number of senior positions, including that of founding managing director of Huxley Associates. As chief strategy officer, he was responsible for the expansion of the group’s international operations and non-ICT disciplines. Elden joined SThree’s IT recruitment brand, Computer Futures, as a recruitment consultant in 1990.
In October 2016, Matthew Taylor was appointed to lead an independent review into modern employment in the UK. The resulting “Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices,” published in July, considered the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations and how to address future challenges facing the UK labour market. At press time, it is unclear how or whether any of the recommendations will make their way into legislation.
Taylor is the CEO for the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Previously, he was the chief adviser on political strategy to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Other roles include Labour Party director of policy and deputy general secretary and chief executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research, the UK’s leading left-of-centre think tank.