The Come Back

APSCo/cube19 data shows professional recruitment sector regrowth

The latest data from APSCo and cube19 has shown a 28 per cent uptick in sales revenue from permanent placements in March when compared with February and a 47 per cent increase in contract sales. A year after lockdown annual rises are also showing an encouraging uptick with permanent sales revenue up a whopping 56 per cent and contract up 36 per cent.

The data, provided by growth analytics platform, cube19, revealed that following a lull in hiring in February, recruitment activity bounced back in March for both permanent and contract. Professional vacancy numbers in the UK saw substantial increases in March, with permanent jobs rising 17 per cent and contract increasing by 23 per cent month-on-month. However, the data also highlights that the annual percentage changes have, for the first time, also shown increases – with permanent roles up six per cent and contract vacancies up 29 per cent when compared to the same period in 2020 – suggesting that hiring intentions are firmly back on the agenda for the professional sectors. This is in keeping with research from accountancy firm BDO, which reveals that over 80 per cent of UK mid-tier businesses intend on hiring more staff over the next six months, with over half planning on recruiting permanent staff.

The daily tracking data reveals a six per cent uptick in contract vacancies in the last part of March compared with the first part, and a 4.5 per cent increase in permanent vacancies – which bodes well for post Easter hiring activity. In addition, interviews remained steady throughout the whole of March signalling a sustained period of hiring intentions as we enter April.

Looking specifically at placements, APSCo’s data reveals that permanent placements were up 23 per cent and contract up 9.5 per cent in the last week of March compared with the beginning of the month.

“These figures show that the steady improvements we have seen over recent months are now beginning to gather pace and as we slowly come out of lockdown and follow the Government roadmap towards a ‘new normal’ we hope to see these figures remain on a positive upward trend,” said Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo. “I am sure we will see some fluctuations as businesses face up to the challenges of a post-pandemic economic landscape but all the signs from this latest dataset point towards increasing light at the end of what has been a very long dark tunnel.”

Joe McGuire, chief revenue officer of cube19 added: “It is great to see the market responding so well in preparation for easing of restrictions. Not only are the MoM & YoY numbers really positive but contract jobs perm/contract placements and perm/contract sales are the highest they have been since the APSCo Trends Snapshot started back in 2017. It’s nice to see the continued hard work across the industry being rewarded and I’m hopeful that continued job growth will translate to increased placements.”

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