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UK – Temporary recruitment resilience continues

06 November 2013

The recruitment industry has proven to be resilient during difficult times, reports the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in their Recruitment Industry Trends Survey 2012 - 2013. The year prior to April 2013 witnessed market growth in turnover for both temporary and permanent recruitment, with the temporary and contract market achieving its best results since records began.

According to REC estimates, industry turnover has grown to £26.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of +3.1%, despite this the recruitment industry as a whole has not yet matched the £27 billion registered in 2007/08. Temporary and contract recruitment revenue accounted for 91% of total revenue, £24.1 billion, whereas permanent recruitment accounted for 9%, £2.4 billion.

Turnover for permanent recruitment increased year-on-year by +2.2%, but remains -42% below its pre-recession peak of £4.3 billion. The +2% increase in revenue was derived from a +12% increase in volume activity.

Temporary and contract recruitment turnover increased by +3.2%, year-on-year, exceeding £24 billion for the first time. This is +5.9% above its pre-recession figure.

In 2012/13 almost half of the requirements for agency labour came from three categories: industrial/blue collar, secretarial/clerical, and technical/engineering. This is a significant move away from the position pre-recession where education/teaching, nursing/medical/care, and construction were major drivers in need, in addition to the ever-dominant area of industrial/blue collar workers.

From a temporary and contract labour perspective, the greatest levels of concern are once again levelled at the challenges associated with the ability to supply. While concern over the implications of Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) playing out has somewhat abated, anxiety remains heightened around further legislative complexity being added to the industry’s task.

Ever conscious that the definition of the industry continues to broaden to encapsulate a growing raft of subcomponent providers (notably payroll and accountancy service providers) and engagement models (including zero hours and ‘umbrella’ contracts), there has been a spike in associated concern over the industry’s reputation.

Expectations for the future suggest a greater anticipated short-term pick-up in the requirement for recruiters to support permanent sourcing activity than in the need for access to temporary or contract recruitment. Predictions are tempered by 18% of permanent recruiters and 21% of temporary and contract recruiters anticipating no growth at all in 2013.

To view the full details of the report in info-graphic form, please click below:

REC Recruitment Industry Trends Survey 2012_13 Infographic - You do not have permission to view this object.


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