The Recruitment Industry Trends Survey 2012/13 from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has reported a third consecutive year of growth for the UK recruitment industry meaning the sector is on course to exceed pre-recession turnover levels next year.
Whilst recovery is almost complete, the report has outlined the permanent market is slower and more labour-intensive than the temporary and contract market – although both did show growth.
The annual report is compiled based upon 585 responses to a survey from Market Shaper and Cordoba Services, alongside other sources including the Office for National Statistics and Kingston Business School.
Key findings of the report include:
• Total industry turnover reached £26.5 billion in 2012/13, which represents a 3.1% annual increase in turnover from 2011/12, exceeding predicted year-on-year growth of 2%
• £24.1 billion (91%) was derived from temporary/contract business and £2.4 billion (9%) from permanent recruitment activity
• This past year saw a year-on-year increase of 12% in the volume of permanent placements and 2% increase in temporary/contractor placements, and yet the recruitment industry's own workforce grew by less than 1%
• A shortage of candidates with appropriate levels of skills and experience is the concern reported most by agencies working in permanent recruitment, with a quarter of recruiters (25%) saying it is an issue
• "Narrowing fees percentages" is the concern cited most frequently by agencies supplying temporary staff, with 17% of agencies listing it as a concern
• Looking ahead, the report forecasts accelerating growth for the industry of 7.3% in 2013/14, 8.3% in 2014/15 and 9.6% in 2015/16. This would see the UK recruitment industry surpass its pre-recession peak of £27 billion and achieve a turnover of £28.5 billion by the end of March next year.