Category: Recruitment

Japanese engineering recruitment firm, Meitec, announced its results for the first quarter. According to Hideyo Kokubun, President of Meitec, during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (the three months from April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021), the economic climate remained challenging due to intermittent restrictions on economic activities caused by the re-issuance of a state of emergency due to the re-emergence of COVID-19 in some areas of the country. Although Meitec’s manufacturing clients showed signs of recovery as well as its order environment showing signs of recovery, the future remains uncertain.

As a result, consolidated net sales for the period under review increased ¥1,431m, or 6 percent, from a year earlier to ¥25,196m. Consolidated cost of sales increased ¥1,368m, or 7.8 percent, from a year earlier to ¥18,835m, due mainly to an increase in labour expenses associated with a growth in the number of engineers. Consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses increased ¥288m, or 8.2 percent, from a year earlier to ¥3,807m, due mainly to an increase in hiring-related expenses. As a result, consolidated operating profit decreased by ¥225m, or 8.1 percent, from a year earlier to ¥2,552m.

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With the arrival of the pandemic, the need arose for fast digital transformations and an agile working approach to the ‘stay at home’ orders issued at the beginning of the first lockdown in March of 2020. The increased need for technology solutions for businesses to continue operating during the most uncertain economic climate seen in a lifetime, could be directly related to the increase in vacancies for IT professionals that have continued to accelerate in 2021. Hiring levels in June represent the fourth record breaking month of the year and according to research conducted by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), hiring levels in the first half of 2021 currently make up 91 percent of the total of tech hires for the whole of 2020.

Hybrid working drives demand for IT professionals as the economy comes back to life

Gone are the days of full time, office-based working. Many businesses are now implementing hybrid working policies that allow for employees to split their work hours between home and the office. According to business intelligence specialists Vacancysoft, this new way of work has seen firms in England and Wales post 11,553 vacancies in June alone, marking the first time this year that hiring levels have breached 10,000. This sudden burst of advertised positions can be attributed to the removal of the work-from-home rule on 19 July, Freedom Day in the UK, and companies were pressed to have their hybrid working models in place and operational.

Data from Vacancysoft also revealed that the technology arena was responsible for the most professional IT vacancies which made up 43.2 percent of total vacancies in June of this year.  Banking followed in second place, with 12.4 percent.

Amazon retains spot as top hirer   

Across the companies hiring for IT talent in the first half of 2021, Amazon topped the table with 854 vacancies. The data also reveals that there was notable hiring activity at Sky, which published 771 senior IT roles in the first six months of the year, and JPMorgan Chase & Co who recruited for 742 tech experts over the same period.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments: “The fact that IT vacancies continue to perform so well is incredibly encouraging and reflective of not only the huge reliance on remote working, but also employers’ reliance on these experts to facilitate and implement hybrid working models as Freedom Day approached in June.  As the country continues to open up and recover from the pandemic we don’t expect any let up in demand for IT talent as hybrid working practices look set to be a firm part of our future.”

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UK staffing firm Impellam Group plc reported revenue today for the six months ending 2 July 2021 of £1.09b, an increase of 8.2 percent on a like-for-like basis when compared to the previous year.

Revenue reportedly grew in the first half of the year as trading recovered in the US, UK and Europe regions after the impact of the pandemic from Q2 2020. US and UK operations saw the strongest gross profit growth over the half year, up 13.3 percent and 9.9 percent respectively, while APAC is still impacted by COVID-19 and declined by 10.6 percent.

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

Julia Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Impellam, said, “Our H1 performance has surpassed expectations. We started 2021 with a degree of optimism following the decisive moves we made in 2020 to re-shape our business for the long term by transforming and de-layering our business to free up our virtuosos to do what they do best, finding good work for people and people for good work.”

“However, almost immediately, the UK was placed back into lockdown and schools were closed meaning that we reverted to the well-trodden home working patterns of 2020 with practised speed and agility,” Robertson said. “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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TrueBlue, specialists in workforce solutions and recruitment, this week announced strong revenue growth across all segments. Second quarter revenue was $516m, an increase of 44 percent compared to revenue of $359m in the second quarter of 2020. Net income per diluted share was $0.45 compared to net loss per diluted share of $0.23 in the second quarter of 2020.

“The momentum from earlier in the year carried into the second quarter with strong revenue growth across all segments driven by new business wins and higher existing client volumes,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “We are capitalising on strong demand in the markets and industries we serve and driving improvement in our segment profit margins.

“I’m enthusiastic that our technology strategies will also make our service delivery costs more scalable resulting in a higher EBITDA1 margin during this economic expansion compared to the last cycle,” Mr. Beharelle continued. “JobStack continues to be a competitive differentiator for our PeopleReady business as heavy client users show stronger growth compared to the rest of our customer base and now represent 46 percent of PeopleReady U.S. on-demand revenue. We are excited about the prospects for the remainder of the year and beyond.”

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Staffline Group PLC, the recruitment and training group, ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM), released its trading update for the last six months ending June 2021.

At the AGM, Ian Lawson, Non-executive Chairman of Staffline stated that trading continued to be strong across the first six months of the year to 30 June 2021 and is ahead of expectations with all three of Staffline’s core divisions delivering a solid performance in the first half. The Group’s cost reduction measures implemented in 2020 also benefited the growth experienced.

Revenue for H1 2021 is expected to be £450.7m (H1 2020: £430.3m), up 4.7 percent with gross profit expected to be £39m (H1 2020: £34.2m), up 14 percent, an improvement year-on-year and a positive trend in the gross margin.

The Group reported a net cash position of £20.9m at 30 June 2021.  The equity raise of £44.4m in June of 2021 coupled with debt refinancing have transformed the Company’s balance sheet and repositioned the Group for the medium term.

Lawson said: “Overall, the Board and management team are pleased with both the operational and financial performance for the six months to 30 June 2021. Whilst there remains economic uncertainty as we enter H2 2021 and ongoing headwinds relating to the pandemic, the Group has and will benefit from the loosening of lockdown restrictions across the UK and Ireland.”

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Robert Walters PLC, the international recruitment group, today announces its half-yearly financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 and has reported a record first half performance and profit ahead of expectations.

The recruitment group reported an operating profit increase of 478% year-on-year to £24.1m (£25.4m) (2020: £4.2m). 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 percent (2020: 62 percent) of the Group’s net fee income.

79 percent (2020: 77 percent) of the Group’s net fee income is now made up from its international businesses with its largest region, Asia Pacific, now accounting for 45 percent (2020: 40 percent) of its net fee income.

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.

“To produce such a strong performance during a period when many of the Group’s markets were still in either full or partial lockdown is a credit to the hard work, dedication and resilience of our people across the globe and their commitment to providing our clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. I am also 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.

“Trading is comfortably ahead of current market expectations for the full year, and we enter the second half of the year with cautious optimism and confidence that we will continue to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.”

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Global recruitment firm Randstad has reported revenue growth over the second quarter at 38.2 percent with Group revenue higher than it was in Q2 in 2019, utilising the full strength of its portfolio and permanent placements +91 percent year-on-year +1 percent vs 2019. Global market leadership and competitive growth supported by diversified portfolio; in-house and professionals above 2019 levels. The firm showed continued market share gains in the USA and France with volume trends in early July indicating continued positive momentum.

“Positive momentum continued across all our geographies into the second quarter of 2021 and we delivered strong Group performance,” says CEO Jacques van den Broek. “Group revenue surpassed 2019 levels and we achieved solid profitability whilst continuing to invest in new growth opportunities. As a result, we welcomed more than 2,400 new colleagues to our global workforce. 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.

As markets begin to recover, pre-pandemic trends such as talent scarcity are also returning. 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. At the same time, the pandemic continues to touch the lives of many and the wellbeing and health of our employees is our highest priority. This quarter, in particular, I am proud of the active role we played in the pandemic humanitarian response in India. I would also like to thank all our global colleagues for the support they have shown. Based on the strength of our performance in the first half we are optimistic for the remainder of 2021, although we are still exercising caution while pandemic-related instabilities and limited visibility remain. We look forward to sharing an update of our strategy at our Capital Markets Day in November 2021.”

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Adecco Group announced today its Q2 financial results where an increase in revenue of 29 percent was recorded. Revenue growth for the Group was strongest in higher-value activities with permanent placements up by 88 percent; and training, upskilling and reskilling up 78 percent. The Group’s gross profit increased by 39 percent organically, with substantial growth recorded in all Global Business Units which, considering the uncertainty of the market so far this year, is notable. Operating profits of €237m, excluding one-offs, were recorded with gross margin performance supported by strong productivity across the business.

Alain Dehaze, Adecco Group CEO, commented: “The second quarter performance was strong with positive momentum throughout, particularly in Permanent Placement. Revenues are now 5 percent below pre-crisis levels on an underlying basis, while the Group’s gross profit is now broadly in line with pre-crisis levels. This is well aligned to the Group’s drive to deliver sustainable, profitable growth through organic and inorganic actions. Our businesses continued to execute well, with margin improvement supported by mix, pricing and strong productivity. At the same time, the Group has begun to extend its investment in sales to drive growth.”

“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,” he added.

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UK businesses have lagged the rest of the world over the past year when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent, according to a new study.

Outsourcing company KellyOCG surveyed more than 1,000 senior executives across 13 countries – Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US – for its Global Workforce Agility Report.

It found that less than half (42%) of the UK firms surveyed thought their ability to recruit talent had improved over the past year, significantly lower than the global average of 59%. The only country that fared worse was Ireland, where only 39% of firms said they had improved their recruitment.

UK employers were also falling behind in terms of retention. While more than half (53%) said their ability to retain talent had improved over the past 12 months, this fell short of the global average of  62%.

One key reason for this was the pandemic, with the majority (55%) of UK employers saying it had had a negative impact on younger employees’ career development and progression in particular.

However, UK businesses also reported that employee satisfaction and wellbeing had fallen over the past 12 months. In this area, the UK ranked the lowest of all the countries covered, with less than half (39%) of UK firms saying employee satisfaction had improved over the last year.

Sam Smith, Vice-President and Managing Director of KellyOCG EMEA, said: “We know that the war for talent has intensified over the past few years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly increased this pressure. Our data shows that the majority of UK businesses have struggled to improve their ability to recruit talent over the past year and clearly many are also struggling to successfully retain talent.”

Diversity drag

Worryingly given the political climate, UK firms were also not as committed to implementing hiring and promotion goals for talent from underrepresented groups, with 69% of UK companies saying this was the case versus 76% globally.

“They have to increase their focus on DEI and wellbeing, as well their own understanding of existing talent within the business in order to stand out. Age-old formulas are no longer going to be enough for employees and the sooner firms realise this, the sooner they can make the changes they need to create a more effective and successful strategy,” said Smith.

Moving forward, the researchers found that UK firms did not have a clear idea of how to turn things around. Only 40% said they knew the optimal mix of talent needed across their business. In addition, just 36% said they had a clear view of how talent strategy was linked to tangible business outcomes, significantly lower than the global average of 49%.

The UK respondents also failed to recognise the importance of improving the employee experience, with just over half (57%) saying this was as important as improving the customer experience. This was the second lowest rate globally and far behind the global average of 73%.

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The gap between supply and demand in the labour market is widening and the situation is unlikely to improve without government intervention, recruiters have warned.

Alongside publication of its latest monthly Labour Market Update, produced with the CBI, recruitment specialist Pertemps said that skills shortages were spreading across more and more sectors and now threatened to derail the UK’s economy recovery.

As well as the much-reported shortage of drivers, hospitality and IT staff, Pertemps said there was now a “drastic shortfall” in candidates for roles such as butchers, bricklayers and welders.

“While the job market is improving, we are experiencing shortages in sectors, such as hospitality, driving, IT and administration, which requires us and recruitment companies like us, to be creative and innovative to attract and secure candidates from wider talent pools to avoid slowing our economic recovery,” said Pertemps chair Carmen Watson.

“To ease acute shortfalls in certain trades, the government should also immediately update its shortage occupation lists to include jobs ranging from butchers and bricklayers to welders. In the longer term, firms must continue to strengthen inclusion while investing in skills and automation. The government can help by ensuring that the qualifications it funds include those in short supply.

‘Holistic’ approach needed

“What we need is a holistic approach to these challenges with recruiters working closer than ever with clients and talent pools, with government liaising with us and taking advice on where they can help. This is about keeping our economy moving forward and not about business versus business or the pursuit of profit at all costs.”

Pertemps’ view was backed up by data from job board network Broadbean Technology, which revealed that the number of people applying for jobs had fallen for three consecutive months.

According to Broadbean’s data, the number of applicants per vacancy in the UK was down 24% between May and June, following a 9% decline between April and May and a 15% drop from March to April.

The issue was most pronounced in hospitality and catering – the industry suffered the biggest fall in application numbers, with a 78% decline in the number of applications per vacancy in the first six months of this year.

Logistics and supply chain and retail also fared badly, with the number of applicants down 77% and 75%, respectively, during the same period.

Applications at odds with vacancies

The fall in applications was in stark contrast to vacancy numbers, which have continued to move in the opposite direction. Broadbean data reported that jobs were up 10% between May and June, while the most recent Office for National Statistics figures showed that job listings had risen above pre-pandemic levels.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology, said: “The UK job market is becoming increasingly competitive as a shortage of talent continues to be exacerbated by the spikes in hiring that most businesses are reporting. We’re currently witnessing multiple clients experiencing record low levels of job applications, leaving frustrated recruiters unable to fill critical positions.

“In fact, the applications per job that we recorded in May and June hit record lows, unseen in the last five years. It’s unlikely that we’ll see any improvement on this situation as we enter the mid-summer months, with many jobseekers now postponing their job search until September.”

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