The Intelligence

The Intelligence

With REC senior researcher, Mark Harrison

 

Earlier this month, the REC released its annual ‘Recruitment industry trends’, giving an overview of the state of the industry in 2016/17. The data shows that recruiters helped almost 1 million people find a new permanent job in the past year with permanent recruitment now accounting for one-eighth of the industry by turnover. On any given day, there were on average nearly 1.3 million workers on temporary agency payroll, of which 1.1 million were on assignment. On top of helping a wide range of employers to source candidates for their organisations, the recruitment industry itself employs over 100,000 people in the UK.

The report demonstrates that recruiters help employers source permanent and temporary candidates for all sorts of roles in every sector of the economy. However, recruiters’ time is taken up more by sourcing some types of candidates than others. Employers rely on recruiters to source secretarial and clerical roles more than any other, with these roles accounting for roughly a sixth of both permanent and temporary roles by volume. In temporary recruitment, industrial and blue collar roles account for another sixth, followed by medical roles and teaching roles, which each account for around a 10th of temporary placements.

In permanent recruitment, technical and engineering roles account for 15% of placements by volume, followed by accounting and financial roles and professional and managerial roles, which each account for 11% each.

Looking to the future, the report anticipates an industry that will continue to grow despite uncertainty over the UK’s economic future. Unless the government commits to a dramatic U-turn on its policy aims, we are likely to see reductions in immigration exacerbate an already present skills shortage in many sectors of the economy. The latest immigration figures released at the end of November show a statistically significant reduction in EU immigration and a statistically significant increase in EU emigration in the year since the vote to leave the EU.


On any given day, there were on average nearly 1.3 million workers on temporary agency payroll, of which 1.1 million were on assignment.

However, recruiters’ time is taken up more by sourcing some types of candidates than others. Employers rely on recruiters to source secretarial and clerical roles more than any other with these roles accounting for roughly a 6th of both permanent and temporary roles by volume.


This reduction in net migration due to EU citizens choosing to leave or not come to the UK is likely to increase in the run up to the UK’s exit from the EU in 2019 and the end of the proposed transition period in 2021. Beyond 2021, an excessively restrictive immigration system could damage the UK’s recruitment industry and the wider economy.

However, with candidate shortages likely to continue for the foreseeable future, next year is a year of great opportunity for those agencies that can source ever scarcer candidates for employers keen to recruit and grow. To access the report in full and get the most up to date and detailed analysis of the industry going into 2018, visit www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/research.

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