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Significant spikes in professional recruitment as country unlocks

CV on a table with a pen

The professional recruitment sector is seeing ‘massive’ spikes in year-on-year vacancy and placement figures as the UK gets back to business as we start to emerge from a year of stop start lockdowns.

That’s according to the latest Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The data, provided by growth analytics experts cube19 revealed a 90% uptick in permanent vacancies with contract roles up by 83%. Placements were also up by similar impressive levels.

While arguably these spikes were to be expected given the drops in the levels of business this time last year, it does show that employers are continuing to see the importance of the professional recruitment sector as partners in their plans to upskill for the recovery.

This is also borne out by the rise in sales revenue from placements for the recruitment sector which was up 97% year on year for permanent roles and 64% for contract.

Commenting on the data Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said: “This data points very clearly to the ongoing value of the recruitment sector to the economy as organisations look for help to find the right skill sets. While the last year has been very tough on business and there has undoubtedly been redundancies, the annual increases in vacancies show that while there may be more candidates on the market, professional sectors still have niche skill shortages, and our profession will continue to be a sought after expert partner to help source those skills.”

While the April data showed a slight month on month dip, APSCo and cube19 say that this is to be expected after the initial flurry of activity in March which is usual as we approach both the end of the tax year and many organisations’ year ends as headcount budgets expire.

Joe McGuire, Chief Revenue Office at cube19, said: “The YoY trends pre-pandemic show that the numbers in April tend to be slightly down on March. That said, April continued to show positive signs in the recovery and with further easing of restrictions in May paired with strong growth projections for the rest of the year, we hope to see this continue.”