Temp numbers rise as turnover takes a tumble

Recruitment industry turnover fell by 5.1 per cent in 2002-03, according to
the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s annual recruitment survey.

Margins were hit as well, with average turnover falling from 20.4 per cent
to 17.9 per cent as supply outstripped demand. The past 12 months have also
seen the first reduction in turnover for temporary agencies. The market always
lags behind, as employers stop permanent recruitment first and use temporary
agencies to fill the gaps. But it remains to be seen whether permanent
recruitment will overtake temporary recruitment as growth returns.

However, the number of temps on the payroll increased, despite an overall
reduction in turnover for the industry. This is probably the result of the
change in the mix of sales, as a higher percentage of staff were placed in
lower-paid jobs.

It also hides the fact that those temporary staff on the payroll may not
have necessarily been employed full-time.

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