Meet Sam Cox, Commercial Services Director at Qdos. Sam shares with us his insights on the recruitment industry and how he’s helped clients understand their risks and how to mitigate them.
You’ve been with Qdos for over 17 years, that’s a pretty long time. How did you end up a part of the Qdos team and what are some of your career highlights?
Having studied Film Theory at university, a career in insurance and tax was clearly a natural progression.
In pursuit of a ‘grown up’ job, I contacted my good friend Seb Maley – a couple of years into his own inspiring Qdos career story at the time – who advised that Qdos were looking for maternity cover. Maternity cover turned into a permanent role, and I was lucky enough to join Qdos at an early stage of our rapid growth. Oddly enough, the baby who required the maternity leave that gave me my opportunity at Qdos is now my niece, as I married her aunt several years later.
In terms of career highlights, there have been some clear personal wins – attaining Chartered status with the CII (Chartered Institute of Insurance) is towards the top of the list – but I look back more fondly to the achievements of Qdos as a team.
The Queens Award for Enterprise and Innovation, which we have won twice, was a fantastic accolade. Notably, we achieved this in 2022 for our IR35 compliance facility ‘Status Review’ of which we are very proud. The acquisition by our parent company, TMHCC, was also a validation of many years of hard work. But most prominently, I have enjoyed seeing the success of subsequent generations of young and ambitious people who have joined over the years, many of which are still working within the business and writing their own exciting career stories.
How would you describe your day-to-day role?
My role is currently very diverse, both driving the commercial development of the business but also focusing on the technical expertise that has always underpinned the success of Qdos and the people who make up the Qdos team.
One of my key client-facing functions is to work with recruitment businesses to understand their risks and implement various mitigation tools ranging from scrutiny over contract terms, to management of IR35 exposures.
By proactively assisting recruitment businesses in this way, Qdos are able to put in place improved insurance arrangements. This fully rounded approach is both challenging and fulfilling but has led to numerous success stories for both Qdos and our clients.
What do you think recruiters should know about insurance?
The key is understanding where risks lie.
Successful recruitment businesses often share a common trait – a focus on accommodating client requirements. Whilst this is obviously a commercial advantage, it sometimes leads to firms agreeing to needlessly accepting contractual liabilities in circumstances where they wouldn’t typically be responsible. Such contract terms leave businesses open to legal challenge and insurance claims, creating a drain on time and resource, fraught client relationships, and increased insurance costs.
It’s important that recruitment businesses work with a broker who takes the time to understand their risk profile in detail. Even more important is that that broker can provide pragmatic advice to help identify improvements to the recruitment businesses practices, which can add invaluable protection and tangible cost savings.
What are some industry insights you wish that everyone knew?
Whilst recruitment businesses need to be mindful of their own insurance arrangements, they also need to keep an eye on the PSCs they place. In many cases, recruitment businesses will be responsible for ensuring that the PSC contractors they place with third parties carry the necessary insurances. Qdos have undertaken reviews of numerous clients’ PSC populations and have identified that in over 20% of cases, they don’t hold insurance that meets their contractual requirements.
Implementing robust oversight of contractor insurances adds value to both a recruitment business’s clients and contractors and demonstrates strong due diligence. Beyond this, ensuring contractors are adequately insured can also avoid the need for potentially complex claims involving uninsured parties.
Qdos have a wealth of expertise and strategies to assist recruitment businesses in this respect, so would encourage any such firm to reach out to discuss in more detail.
What can recruiters/organisations expect to see from Qdos over the next year?
Qdos continue to go from strength to strength in supporting recruitment businesses, hiring organisations, and contractors in managing risk, implementing best practice, and facilitating successful engagement of contingent labour. You will continue to see us at industry events and social engagements – myself and the team always enjoy making new connections in the market and would welcome businesses of all sizes reaching out to discuss insurance, IR35 and the contracting market in general.
Got questions for Sam or just want to know more about how we help recruitment businesses to thrive? Get in contact with Sam directly on LinkedIn or take a look at some of our case studies.