Celebrating our industry’s strong performance in 2017/18

Ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit may be top of the agenda but this shouldn’t overshadow the good news our industry has to share. The year 2017/18 had been an extraordinary year for recruitment and recruiters. And we should all celebrate that success.

In December 2018, the REC published its highly anticipated Recruitment Industry Trends 2017/18, which tracks the size, shape and performance of our sector. As the report highlights, the industry rose to meet labour market challenges with vigour.


Recruitment industry sales and volumes

Our sector’s ability to adapt swiftly to changing times and shifting skills needs led to a record total turnover of £35.7 billion. This represents a substantial year-on-year increase of 11 per cent. Notably, 86 per cent (£30.85 billion) was generated through temporary/contract placement activity with the remaining 14 per cent (£4.84 billion) being achieved through permanent placement activity.  

The recruitment industry has grown by increasing the value it offers to clients and the opportunities it provides to candidates. It is a vital part of the UK’s professional services sector, placing over a million people a year in a new permanent job and the same number fulfilling a temporary post every day. This huge contribution is all made possible by 115,000 dedicated recruitment professionals across the country.


How does your business measure up against the rest of the UK recruitment industry?

It is a tight, candidate-driven labour market and competition is strong.

Our new interactive tool allows permanent and temporary/contract recruiters to benchmark themselves against the rest of the UK recruitment industry across a number of key metrics. These include:

  • average permanent placement fee
  • average permanent placement margin
  • average turnover from each temporary/contract worker on assignment
  • average temporary/contract assignment margin

To measure up your business against your competitors and to download the full report, click here

Looking ahead

March 29, the day the country will leave the European Union, is fast approaching. Brexit related challenges and skills shortages will remain most pressing issues for UK businesses in 2019.

But, as it clearly demonstrated throughout 2017/18, the recruitment industry can help address heightened business concerns by supporting employers in planning their workforce effectively and connecting people to opportunities.

Thalia Ioannidou - Senior Researcher at the REC


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