Published On: Tue, Apr 16th, 2024

Falling confidence sends fees at recruitment group Hays tumbling | City & Business | Finance

White collar recruitment giant Hays says that its third quarter fees have plunged 17 percent due to employers taking longer to hire both temporary and permanent staff.

Chief executive Dirk Hahn, who succeeded longtime incumbent Alistair Cox in September, said that the uncertain economic environment had hit the confidence of both candidates and employers. As a result, companies were taking longer to bring new people in.

Hays saw a 21 percent fall in fees from its permanent placements business, while temporary and contracting, which accounts for 60 percent of the group’s income, dropped 14 percent.

Although it saw double digit revenue declines in most of the territories it operates in, the worst performer was Australia and New Zealand, where its net fees dropped 23 percent. The UK, Hays’ home market, saw a 16 percent decline.

Hahn said: “Fees were also impacted by lower-than-normal average hours worked per assignment. Group permanent activity was stable through the quarter, however we continued to see extended ‘time-to-hire’, impacted by low levels of client and candidate confidence.”

In the UK, Hays saw a 18 percent decline in its fees for placing permanent hires and a 15 percent fall in temp income. All job markets saw declines, with technology the worst affected, down 31 percent, due to the slowdown and belt-tightening in the sector. Accountancy and finance and construction and property were down 11 percent and eight percent respectively, while education fees only dropped two percent.

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