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Ninety-three percent of UK agencies anticipate profitable 2015

A positive year ahead for the recruitment industry as thirty-one percent of agencies predict growth of 25 percent or more this year

Eighty-five percent of UK recruitment agencies met or exceeded their revenue goals in 2014 and 93 percent expect their revenue to increase this year, according to Bullhorn, the global leader in customer relationship management software for service-based industries.

The Bullhorn 2015 UK Recruitment Trends Report, based on data from 217 UK recruitment agency professionals, also reveals that 89 percent of agencies plan to increase headcount in 2015.

Peter Linas, international MD of Bullhorn, comments: The UK recruitment industry is enjoying a period of sustained growth and this year’s report reflects just that. It’s fantastic to see such ambitious growth plans being set by agencies, both in terms of revenue and employee numbers, and at Bullhorn we look forward to helping facilitate this growth. There’s no doubt there are challenges ahead but as an industry we are well positioned to overcome them.

Key findings:

  • Expansion plans increase: 36 percent of agencies plan to expand into new offices representing a ten percent increase on last year.
  • Fill rate falls, hit rate improves: industry-wide, fill rate fell from 52 percent in 2013 to 46 percent in 2014, however hit rate increased from 39 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2014.
  • VMS is on the rise: only five percent of agencies reported using VMS for more than 50 percent of job orders in 2013, but that number more than tripled to 16 percent in 2014.
  • Good year for manufacturing: manufacturing and industrial had the first and second-best fill and hit rates among industries, respectively.
  • Skills shortage still a major concern: 80 percent of respondents indicated a skills shortage in the industries for which they recruited in 2014.
  • Social media and CRM: the top sources of qualified candidates in 2014 remained unchanged from 2013: existing candidates from recruitment CRMs and social media.
  • Repeat business is key: 84 percent of agencies generate 50 percent or more of their revenue from repeat client business.
  • Remuneration increase expected: 86 percent of respondents expect an increase in their remuneration in 2015, a three percent increase from last year.


Now in its fifth year, the Bullhorn 2015 UK Trends Report also draws comparisons to recruitment performance in the United States – to download the report for free, please click here.