Huge rise in recruitment agencies over past two decades
Huge rise in recruitment agencies over past two decades

Huge rise in recruitment agencies over past two decades

The number of recruitment agencies in the UK has jumped by a staggering 500% since 1999.

Comparative analysis undertaken for the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies by Deloitte has found a mammoth rise over the past two decades.

In 1999, the UK housed an estimated 6,500 private recruitment agencies; by the end of 2019, that figure had jumped to 39,232, according to figures available from Companies House.

The research has revealed a particularly rapid rise in recruitment agencies over the last decade, with 84% of company registrations taking place between 2008 to 2018; in the latter year alone, almost 8,500 agencies were registered with Companies House.

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) is one such organisation, and Ann Swain, the organisation’s Global CEO, is proud of the part APSCo has played, whilst also warning that recruiters will need to be “agile and innovative” to remain competitive over the next two decades.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see the continued growth of the staffing sector, which has been flourishing despite the rise of job boards and social media – which many felt would negatively impact recruitment firms.

“With a change to working attitudes and cultures, the fourth industrial revolution, and Gen Z entering the workforce – recruitment companies will need to be as agile and innovative as ever to ensure that they continue to add value and remain competitive for the next 20 years.

“The fact that the sector has grown so much, and now employs over 115,000 people, makes it more important that high quality and standards are upheld across the board.

“At APSCo, we have made great strides in ensuring the professionalisation of the sector – introducing the first ever Executive MBA in Human Capital for example, and will continue to do so for the next two decades and beyond.”

The role recruiters play in the changing job market in the next decade or two, and how they adapt, will be of keen interest.

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