Talent shortages and new tech-enabled services have helped the world’s biggest recruiters to achieve significant revenue growth over the last six months.

Global recruitment firm Randstad reported revenue growth of 38.2% over the second quarter with Group revenue 3% up on Q2 2019. Permanent placements were up 91% year-on-year and up 1% on 2019. The firm showed continued market share gains in the USA and France with volume trends in early July indicating continued positive momentum.

“We welcomed more than 2,400 new colleagues to our global workforce,” said CEO Jacques van den Broek. “We are also continuing to roll out our global technology transformation, with Monster showing positive YoY momentum, and are excited to provide a better experience to both talent and employers using the combination of Randstad and Monster capabilities in the future.

“By providing in-depth data, technology and integrated services, we are playing an essential role for our clients by helping them to achieve a total talent management strategy.”

Announcing its Q2 financial results, Adecco Group posted a 20% increase in revenue. It was strongest in higher-value activities with permanent placements up by 88% with training, upskilling and reskilling up 78%. The Group’s gross profit increased by 39% organically, with substantial growth recorded in all Global Business Units.

Alain Dehaze, Adecco Group CEO, commented: “We have seen pockets of talent scarcity and wage inflation in our end-markets, particularly in technology solutions, and the pace of recovery in Permanent Placement is unprecedented. We are cautiously optimistic that all our service lines, including Flexible Placement, have scope to recover further in the quarters ahead. We are confident that with the implementation of our Future@Work strategy, including the digital transformation of our business, we will be optimally positioned to take market share”.

Robert Walters PLC reported a record first half performance, with an operating profit increase of 478% year-on-year to £24.1m. Recruitment activity levels across all professional disciplines accelerated through the first half of the year, with wage inflation returning as demand for talent outstrips supply. Growth is seen to be strongest across permanent and interim recruitment as candidate and client confidence levels improved while permanent recruitment now represents 67% (compared to 62% in 2020) of the Group’s net fee income.

International businesses now generate 79% of the Group’s net fee income with its largest region, Asia Pacific, now accounting for 45% (2020: 40 percent) of NFI

Robert Walters, Chief Executive, said: “It’s been a record first half performance with the Group delivering a four-fold increase in pre-tax profits year-on-year. Recruitment activity levels accelerated markedly as the first half of the year progressed, with the demand for talent outstripping supply across many markets and disciplines. A war for talent and significant wage inflation is beginning to emerge. I am delighted that we continue to be recognised as a leader in the ESG space; achieving carbon negative status and being shortlisted as a finalist in the ESG Reporting Awards.”

UK staffing firm Impellam Group plc reported revenues of £1.09bn for the six months ending 2 July 2021, an increase of 8.2% on 2020, as trading recovered in the US, UK and Europe regions. US and UK operations saw the strongest gross profit growth over the half year, up 13.3% and 9.9% respectively, while APAC is still impacted by COVID-19 and declined by 10.6%.

The Group reported a temporary recruitment gross profit increase of 6.8% and permanent recruitment up 33.7% – with perm now making up 10.6% of gross profit.

“Our H1 performance has surpassed expectations,” said Julia Robertson, CEO of Impellam. “With a simplified regional business structure and reduced management layers we have reacted quickly to changing end-market conditions and have made significant investments in digitalisation and new virtuoso fee earners whilst retaining the substantial cost base savings from the transformation of our business in 2020.”

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