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Recruitment Sector Barometer: How Does Your Company Compare?

Trends and Analysis

Welcome to the Q2 2017 Barometer results which I am excited to say are now published in association with leading industry publication Recruiter. I have added a headline summary below of the full report.

While it may be too early to anticipate the impact that the triggering of Article 50 and the forthcoming general election will have on the UK economy and recruitment firms generally, the industry is still broadly confident about its prospects for the coming year so much so that 65% of respondents expect to grow their headcount over the next quarter. It is also encouraging to see that 55% of firms hit or exceeded their revenue targets in Q1 2017 compared with only 46% in Q4 2016.

Here are this quarter’s Top 5 Trends:

Business prospects: 68% are more positive about their business’ prospects now than they were 12 months ago (up 2% from Q1 2017 survey).

Revenue targets: 31% of companies exceeded their revenue targets last quarter (up from 18% in the Q1 2017 survey).

Profitability: 10% expect profits to be lower over the coming 12 months than for the previous 12 months, up from 3% in the previous quarter. However, 71% still expect to be more profitable over the coming 12 months than the previous year (though this is down from 75% in Q1).

Top challenges: The percentage of respondents citing the availability of candidates as one of their top three challenges has risen 8% to 66%! The other top business challenges have remained broadly consistent with the last survey with securing experienced quality recruiters as the next biggest.

Temp market: Having spiked last quarter (net 71% of respondents expected year on year growth in Q1 in their temp divisions) companies are less optimistic about the prospects for temp recruitment in Q2 with only net 41% expecting year on year growth for this quarter.

The areas I will be encouraging my clients to focus on this quarter are around building individual strategies and more creative tactics to engage candidates and consultants.

The shortage of good recruiters with experience is not going to change imminently so firms need to invest ever more in retaining good staff and building a pipeline of potential recruits.

While candidates will always be harder to persuade to move in times of economic uncertainty, the reasons for the rise in more recruiters finding candidate availability an issue go deeper.

The skills gap we have in the economy at the moment means that good candidates are being bombarded by in-house and agency recruitment teams as well as their own networks.

To be successful recruiters need to move beyond transactional relationships into the role of trusted careers advisors.

If any TEAM Member wants the full Q2 report for free then please email


Alex Arnot

Recruitment Non-Executive

07949 082661

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