Turnover in the UK’s recruitment industry hit a record high of more than £27bn between 2007 and 2008, according to its annual report.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) annual survey found the most significant growth was achieved through a sharp increase in the turnover generated from permanent placements from £3.5bn to £4.2bn, a rise of 21.7%, athough the number of permanent placements fell from 787,280 to 726,863.
However, the figures only cover the year to March 2008, before the economic situation deteriorated, so the results for the current year are likely to be more gloomy.
REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “The huge growth in permanent recruitment turnover shows that employers are willing to pay more for the right candidate. This remains the case even in the changing employment climate.
“The downturn is really putting the skills of professional recruiters to the test but this is giving them a real opportunity to shine and show employers what they’re made of.”
The number of temporary or contract workers declined over the period, from 1,377,310 to 1,220,310 – a reduction of 1.8% with a corresponding fall in turnover. The number of staff employed in the recruitment sector rose from 101,286 to 108,883.