Hays bullish on UK recovery as quarterly revenues hit six-year high


Hays, Britain’s biggest recruitment firm, was today in a bullish mood about the recovery as UK quarterly revenues leapt 10 per cent.

“This is the best result for six years,” declared group finance director Paul Venables.

The jobs market has “accelerated” in both the regions and London and across every sector, particularly construction, property and healthcare.

Fees from permanent jobs rose 17 per cent — faster than temporary roles for the first time in nearly two years. London was up 10 per cent and even banking jobs rose 3 per cent — “the first positive we’ve had in a couple of years,” said Venables.

Hays’ results were in contrast to smaller rival Robert Walters, which yesterday said that growth in London was in the low single digits and lagging behind the strong recovery in the regions.

Venables said its regular surveys of employers and candidates showed confidence is booming and is at its highest level for nine years.

In another upbeat sign, Hays is seeing a rise in “counter-offers” from employers when staff get job offers.

Manchester City sponsor Hays also saw record fees in Germany and Japan amid signs of a wider global recovery. Ireland was up 30 per cent.

Shares dipped 0.7p to 131.7p after hitting a six-year high this week amid renewed newspaper speculation about a takeover bid — possibly from Swiss giant Adecco.

“I’ve seen that article every 18 months in my eight years in the business,” scoffed Venables.