In November, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) published their sixth annual Recruitment Industry Trends Survey. The 2012-2013 survey showed "a third consecutive year of growth for the UK recruitment industry" and predicts that between 2015 and 2016, total industry growth of over 25% is completely realistic.

The infographic highlights some of the key findings of the survey, which point to a much more interesting story about the industry’s recovery and resilience. Below the infographic, you'll find a breakdown of the key statistics and sources.

The Recruitment Industry in Review: 2013 - An infographic by the team at de Poel

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The Recruitment Industry in Review: 2013 - An infographic by the team at de Poel



This is the third consecutive year of growth for the UK recruitment industry. With this in mind, the REC have upgraded their medium term forecast to 7.3% predicted growth for the whole industry in 2013/14, and a total industry growth of 25% by 2015.

The Recruitment Industry as a Whole

2012/13 saw a total of 64,669 recruitment consultants currently employed in the UK. Of this figure, 33% (21,168) are in dual desk recruitment, 38% (24,672) work solely on temporary/contract recruitment, and 29% (18,829) work solely in permanent recruitment.

The total turnover from the recruitment industry in 2012/13 was £26.5bn. This is up 3.1% on last years figure. Of this, £24.1bn was derived from temporary/contract business, equalling 91% of the total turnover, whilst £2.4bn was generated from permanent business - just 9% of the years total.

The Temporary Market

In September 2013, 80% of hiring organisations stated that agency labour help them meet their corporate objective and strategy. In fact, 4% of the UK’s total workforce are temporary/contract workers (calculation based on a UK workforce of 29.68m plus 1.65m temporary workers (September–November 2012): ONS Labour Market Statistics, released in January 2013)

Revenues from temporary/contract placements are now at their highest point since records began in 2002/03. Further to this, the temp market saw a 2% rise in volume with 1.13m workers supplied daily and a 3.2 % rise in revenues.

The biggest biggest concern in the temporary market are fees, with 17% of recruitment agencies reporting that narrowing fees percentages is a worry.

The Permanent Market

The permanent market saw a larger increase in volume than the temporary market; 12.1% to 617,314. However, this only resulted in a 2.2% rise in revenues.

25% of recruiters in permanent recruitment agencies reported there was a shortage of candidates with appropriate levels of skills and experience.


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