Service: Human resources 

Sector: Recruitment 

Industry Update: Recruitment Sector

22 Feb 2023

After significant growth across 2021 and 2022 in the UK, the recruitment industry is entering into a period of uncertainty, with forecasts of a recession looming, although changing employee habits mean that more people than ever are changing jobs.

The global and, more specifically, UK workforce is undergoing significant change following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Great Resignation, a term coined in May 2021, describes the record number of people leaving their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. The max exodus is thought to be driven by people placing increasing value on work-life balance and the flexibility of being able to work from home with no commute. There is no sign of this trend slowing, with research indicating that one in five workers were expected to have quit their job in 2022.

In our latest Industry Report, Nick Wallis and Joanna Loizidou share their industry predictions based on the current recruitment climate as well as looking at case studies from Recruitment Deals made and recent M&A and Investment activity.

Key takeaways from this report include:

  • According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the UK recruitment industry’s Gross Value Added (GVA) reached £42.9 billion in 2021, a 21.7% increase from 2020. 
  • A report produced by ThoughtExchange on Gen-Z workers stated that only 34% plan to stay at their company for at least five years. 
  •  In 2022, 84% of employment placement agencies employed fewer than 10 people and only 2% employed 100 people or more.
  • Deal Activity: PE backed investments in 2022 financed the majority of deals within the recruitment industry. PE firms are looking for opportunities to assimilate small firms, capitalising on the fragmented market structure previously highlighted through bolt-on and roll-up acquisition strategies. Elsewhere, corporate acquisitions made up around 43% of total deals in 2022.

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