Posted on 9th February, 2022

New report shines spotlight on future of SME recruitment industry

More than two-thirds of UK SME recruiters say their revenues have returned to pre-Covid levels, and more say they expect their revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels in Q2 2022.

This is according to a recent report, ‘The Future of the UK SME Recruitment Industry’. The report, researched and published by Firefish Software, noted that only a combined 13% of respondents did not expect their revenue to recover during 2022.

With research conducted at the end of 2021, the report also showed that over 85% of UK recruitment leaders were either optimistic or very optimistic about the year ahead. Of the respondents, 14% were neutral about their prospects for the year ahead, but none had a pessimistic view.

Geographically speaking, Northern England was the most optimistic about their sales growth in 2022 at 93%, with Southern England close behind at 92% and London at 91%. In Scotland, 88% of respondents believed their sales would grow. But in Wales, only half of respondents were optimistic about their growth this year. No figures were provided for Northern Ireland.

Other highlights are:

  • Asked about working models in their agencies, 13% reported that they were currently fully office-based, 40% were fully remote, 26% were office-first hybrid, and 21% said they were working remote-first hybrid. For 2022, 30% of agency owners said they would employ a fully remote model.
  • In terms of types of recruitment, 78% of agency owners said they planned to increase permanent recruitment, 47% say they will increase temporary and contract recruitment.
  • The top obstacle that recruitment agency owners expect to face this next year is a shortage of candidates. To attract candidates in 2022, the highest percentage (56%) said they will nurture passive candidates.

The highest percentage of the 121 agency owners responding to the December 2021 survey, nearly 25%, operated in technology recruitment.

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