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UK – Recruitment sector expected to have record high number of agency start-ups by end of year

18 October 2018

2018 is set to be a record-breaking year for recruitment agencies in the UK as than 10,000 start-ups are expected have been registered by the end of the year, a record-high for the sector, according to research from Clearly PR and Marketing.

The research, which used data obtained from Companies House under a Freedom of Information Act, found that 7,630 new agencies have registered since 1 January 2018. This equates to an average start-up rate of 848 per month.

“Despite the doom and gloom over Britain’s impending exit from the EU, surprisingly Brexit has served as a catalyst for industry growth rather than a hindrance,” Clearly PR managing director Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, said.

“Since the referendum of June 2016, the number of new recruitment businesses starting up has continued to rise, with last year seeing 9,001 agencies opening their doors for the first time. And it is easy to see why,” MacKenzie-Cummins said. “Record high employment is great for the economy, but it also means that talent pools are shrinking. Yet employers have vacancies to fill and the harder it becomes to find the people they need, the more likely they are to turn to recruiters to solve their recruitment challenges.”

Clearly PR also published the list of the ten fastest-growing cities for new agencies:

1. London – 2,962

2. Birmingham – 1,207

3. Manchester – 128

4. Leeds – 122

5. Leicester – 81

6. Bolton – 58

7. Nottingham – 52

8. Bristol – 49

9. Berkhamsted – 44

10. Walsall – 40

MacKenzie-Cummins added, “One legacy of the recession has been the rise in alternative finance providers, who enable agency owners to gain access to the funds they need without having to wait weeks or months before clients settle their invoices.”

“Add off-the-shelf websites and cloud-based Applicant Tracking Systems and Customer Relationship Management to the equation and it is easy to see why so many ambitious consultants are opting to go it alone, the opportunities and demand are high, while the support to help them get off the ground in the first place is plentiful,” MacKenzie-Cummins said.


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