recruitment agencies

UK Recruitment Agencies in 2016

We’ve been noticing a lot of analysis of recruitment agencies over the last few weeks and thought we would highlight some of the interesting observations made by people way smarter and with a lot more time on their hands.


Deloitte survey the industry on an annual basis and whilst you need to participate in the survey to see the full results, they do publish some key findings that make interesting reading.

“Now in its fourth year The UK Recruitment Index provides a highly regarded source of financial and operational metrics that enable recruitment companies to measure and benchmark themselves against industry averages.

The 2016 results indicate overall continued growth in the UK recruitment sector. While the majority of recruitment firms report increasing net fee income, the pace of growth seems to have slowed as more businesses report static income. “



Key findings

79% of recruitment firms reported an increasing net fee income – the second highest since 2013. However, the proportion of businesses reporting static income has also increased from a year ago, suggesting the pace of growth is slowing down.

ONS reports a 14% increase in the number of recruitment businesses between 2014 and 2015, highlighting the perception that strong demand for talent is attracting new businesses into the market.

The main issue impacting the growth of the UK recruitment businesses has remained access to talent with 61% of respondents citing increasing headcount as their main challenge.

Demand for talent was very strong in London where 72% of recruitment businesses in London rated demand for talent as strong or very strong. Other UK regions with relatively strong demand included the South East, West Midlands and the North West.
Churn is impacting productivity in the recruitment sector.

External factors such as Brexit, technology and broader talent trends are likely to create some opportunities for recruitment firms and those that convert these into business successes are the ones that are likely to ‘ride the waves’ and grow in the long term.


You can read more and download the light version of the report here :
Linkedin Talent Solutions have also been busy analysing the market and have uncovered some surprising trends.
While the constant quest to find new clients and forging strategic partnership relationships remain key priorities for recruitment agencies, there is an increasing trend on recruiting passive talent and pipelining. This requires recruiters to spend more time building relationships with clients & candidates.


One of the biggest challenges still remains the difference between the increase in hiring volume vs the hiring budget. While the gap between the two has decreased, the desire by clients for recruiters to do more for less still remains


Passive candidate recruiting continues to be central to recruiting strategies. Likely because 68% of survey respondents agreed that passive candidates are an important differentiator for their business. Since almost half of these individuals are interested in speaking with firms, recruiters can continue developing strong relationships with candidates.

One of the key features of eBoss is the ability to quickly locate, communicate with and onboard potential passive candidates. We’ve had this feature for quite a while, so it is good to see the features we consider essential being recognised as essential by the industry.


Other key findings in the report ;


“U.K. firms still consider number of placements to be the more valuable performance metric. However, their clients value quality of hire. Don’t let quality of placement fall off the radar. Focusing on quality placements can further position your firm as a strategic partner. “


“Most firms aren’t confident in how they measure ROI on source of hire, considering only 9% feel their methodologies are “best in class.” Firms who want to be a strategic partner to clients will get more clear on whether or not sources of hire are paying off.”


“While most firms don’t use data to understand recruiting effectiveness and opportunities, U.K. firms are above the global average. If firms conquer this, they can better advise and serve clients. “


“Looking ahead, recruitment firms consider sourcing passive talent, social professional networks, and building talent communities to be the most long-lasting trends. What’s interesting is that all of these areas emphasise the importance of building strong relationships. The relationships firms have both candidates and clients will power recruiting success. “


Source :!

Meanwhile in beancounter land, BDO’s recruitment sector team (yes that’s a thing) are reporting that mergers and acquisitions are in the spotlight in terms of a growth path in 2016.


Surveying a selection of recruiting firms, BDO were encouraged that most recruitment agencies are still positive about the sector and expect ambitious levels of growth in the coming couple of years. This backs up the expectation back in 2015 (the good old days) that fee income would increase by over 10% in the next three years.


You can download the snapshot and request the full report at


If you were in any doubt about the buoyancy of the recruitment sector, Companies House data reveals well over 2900 new recruitment agencies launched in the first half of 2016. (10% up on the same period in 2015)

The UK recruitment sector continues to boom and is showing no sign of slowing. Definitely a good sign that flies in the face of expected uncertainty post Brexit vote.


I guess that’s not surprising, given the UK employment rate is now the highest since 1971 which is leading to vacancies in core sectors, and it’s growing year on year.


Having record employment levels of course, presents it’s own challenges, especially staff retention as confidence in job seekers grows in the face of a bullish employment environment.


Here lies the challenge and the opportunity – the recruiters with the best networks and agile systems to find active & passive candidates will surely prevail.


eBoss Recruitment Software contains all the essential tools to find & place candidates fast.

You can read more Here