Reed (company)

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A Reed branch office on a UK high street.

Reed is one of the largest employment agencies in the United Kingdom.[1] The company was founded in 1960 by Sir Alec Reed CBE, and is currently chaired by his son, James Reed. Reed also offers training and HR consultancy services. The company’s website,, was established in 1995 and doubles as a job site. was the UK's most visited commercial job site in 2009 and 2010, according to figures released by online intelligence service, Hitwise.[2]

As of March 2012 Reed has more than 3,000 permanent employees working across 425 business units in 180 locations worldwide.[3]

Reed Group companies[edit]

The main Reed company sources and places candidates into temporary, contract and permanent positions, and provides a range of outsourced Human Resources. Reed itself is a specialist recruitment agency.

The group also includes:[4]

  • Reed Learning Ltd, providing learning and training services.
  • Reed in Partnership Ltd is a workfare spin off operating in the UK, Australia and Poland as a government sub-contractor.
  • Reed Online Ltd, launched in 1995, is responsible for Jobs on come from employers in the private and public sectors, recruitment agencies and Reed's consultants based in the UK, and the rest of the world.

Reed in society[edit]

Reed has a commitment to several social initiatives and charitable concerns.


The Reed Foundation is a charitable foundation set up by Sir Alec Reed. The Foundation owns an 18% share of the Reed group of companies. Funds go towards supporting charitable projects and one-off donations.

The Big Give is a Reed Foundation initiative that began in 2007 and aims to introduce donors to charitable projects in their field of interest. The website holds details of over 7,500 charities.

Ethiopiaid, founded by Sir Alec Reed in 1989, is a charity that works in partnership with projects in Ethiopia. Its aim is to create lasting and positive change in Ethiopia by tackling the problems of poverty, ill health and poor education through supporting local community projects.

The third charity supported by Reed is Womankind Worldwide.[4]

Social initiatives[edit]

Reed has a long history of supporting the West London Academy in Ealing.[5]

Advertising and sponsorship[edit]

Love Mondays[edit]

In January 2008, a nationwide advertising campaign was launched promoting The advertising introduced a new 'Love Mondays' message, with print and poster ads featuring a handwritten Post-It note-style device. Radio commercials also include 'Love Mondays' as their end-line.

Short Film Competition[edit]

In September 2009, launched its annual Short Film Competition with a top prize of £10,000. The competition, run via YouTube, invites film makers to submit a short film of no more than three minutes in length based on a specific theme.


Radio ad controversy[edit]

In January 2010, a radio advertisement for was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ad, which was part of a series of popular commercials for, sparked thirteen complaints and featured an angry boss speaking German. Complaints were upheld, as the ASA "considered that the portrayal suggested that German people were more likely to be unreasonable or aggressive to others".[6]

Intern controversy[edit]

Reed courted controversy when it advertised 46 expenses-only, voluntary internships for positions such as "intern executive assistant" and "secretarial admin internship".[7] However, the adverts were taken down when the company realised that they were not reflective of their internship programme and subsequently implemented more robust procedures to monitor placements advertised by managers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Steve McCormack (6 July 2006). "A-Z of Employers: Reed". Independent. 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Online Recruitment: most visited in 2009 and breaking records in 2010
  3. ^ "About Reed". Reed. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Reed is fifty in 2010". Reed. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ofsted criticises London academy standards". Guardian. 7 March 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  6. ^ BBC News: 'Tyrant' German radio advert banned by ASA
  7. ^ Guardian:Young, unpaid and angry: interns go online to campaign for a wage - accessed: 22.10.2011

External links[edit]