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Rachel Budge

Relationship Director

Industry expert

I have worked for Barclays for 4 years now and prior to that I was a relationship manager for 12 years at HSBC. I am originally from the Midlands and started working for HSBC when my son was 18 months old and I was a single parent trying to get back to work.

My job satisfaction has always come from learning from the client what their growth strategy is and then working with them to help them achieve this – the look of delight on their faces when they have secured their new premises or made a successful acquisition is simply priceless and I feel honoured to have been part of that journey with them.

I relocated from the Midlands 12 years ago and have worked in and around Hertfordshire and North London since then. My current industry specialism is Business Services and predominantly recruitment.

Strangest place for a client meeting?

A previous client of mine was a large funeral director and we met at the premises where the bodies were embalmed and laid out for the families to pay their final respects. These were always in private rooms, of course, and away from where we met but it was quite eerie knowing they were so close by. I did politely decline the offer of a tour of the premises and the crematorium that they also owned! 

Tell us about a time you’ve helped your client with something beyond banking?

There have been a lot of changes, driven by HMRC, around the rules for IR35 for the public sector over the past couple of years which has greatly impacted the recruitment industry. This was creating a lot of additional work for the recruitment firms and the rules were often not clear or, more importantly, open to interpretation.

I have a payroll company in my portfolio who were working with HMRC on the consultation process for these changes, so I asked them if they would be happy to be involved in a couple of events whereby we could secure a speaker from HMRC who was involved in writing the new rules. We had around 65 companies attend each event and several guest speakers from HMRC who were excellent. The recruitment firms who attended found it incredibly useful to talk to and raise concerns directly with HMRC. 

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Industry expertise

Business Services

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What's the most exciting thing happening in your client's industry?

The recruitment industry has been plagued with many regulation changes over the past few years (IR35, the apprenticeship levy and GDPR, to name a few). Before, the industry was essentially unregulated so this has been a real change for them. Whilst this has created challenges for the industry it has also helped greatly in professionalising it and creating stronger barriers to entry. If a recruitment firm is fully up to speed on being compliant with these regulations it actually becomes a USP for them, and stops smaller and less established companies being able to enter and undercut them on price.

As technology advances, many recruitment firms are investing in platforms that not only streamline their processes but also hold all the data in one place, increasing efficiency. There is also a lot of noise in the industry around artificial intelligence. The reality, however, is that whilst artificial intelligence may help in matching CV’s to job descriptions, after this point it is still very much a relationship business that heavily relies on people so I don’t think that AI will be replacing people any time soon.

If you didn’t work for Barclays, what would you be doing?

I would love to be a private chef cooking fine dining for dinner parties in people’s homes or yachts. I have always loved cooking since I could hold a saucepan and a wooden spoon. My favourite programme at the moment is Masterchef the professionals! There is nothing I enjoy more than planning a menu for a dinner party and spending the day in the kitchen preparing it - of course eating it is good too but then an extra gym session is often required!