Industry research from the REC and WEC under-estimates growth in UK recruitment. This is according to the latest Top UK Recruiters Report, published by TALiNT International, which features 825 recruitment companies that each have a UK turnover in excess of £5 million per annum.


Using up to date Companies House information, and data supplied by these recruitment firms, it found that total revenues from the 825 companies is £39.7 billion. This is higher than the £35.7 billion highlighted in the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Recruitment Industry Trends report for 2017/18. The Top UK Recruiters Report also estimates that 148,000 people are working in the sector, compared to 115,000 claimed by the REC.


While 39,232 businesses are registered under the recruitment related SIC codes at Companies House, with 8,448 newly formed companies in 2018, the Report’s author, David Head, observes that many of these are sole traders.


“If pushed, TALiNT International would say that there is a maximum of 20,000 fully functioning businesses operating in the sector,” he said. “What is not a matter of conjecture is that the sector remains on a growth curve and shows little sign of a slowdown.


Based on its estimate of 20,000 trading recruitment companies, the Report claims that turnover for the entire UK recruitment industry is in the region of £48 billion, or €55 billion – much higher than the €31.8 billion recorded by the WEC.


“The recruitment industry has remained one of the most resilient sectors in UK business, continuing to grow and prosper despite Brexit uncertainty, skills shortages, record employment and just about everything else that the new technology disrupters can throw at it,” adds David Head. “There are, quite simply, some outstanding businesses with truly exceptional leaders operating in the sector and they are continually pushing up standards, both in levels of expertise and service, as well as in actual raw financial performance.


“This is why there should always be robust data and information that charts and records the growth of the recruitment industry. There has to be a source that can be viewed as the ‘go to’ reference point for the sector and that remains the purpose of the Top UK Recruiters Report.”


The Report lists 825 recruitment businesses in turnover order and drills into key metrics including turnover, NFI and PBT per employee, perm and temp turnover, region and over 30 sector disciplines. “If you use any form of contingent worker, engage with staffing and recruitment companies, RPOs, MSP or executive search firms, this is the definitive guide to the sector,” Head concluded.


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