Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

New research suggests 2018 could be strongest year of growth for recruitment agencies

More new agencies were established in January and February than during the same period in 2017

Clearly PR, the specialist public relations and content marketing agency for the recruitment industry, has found that almost 1,800 new recruitment agencies have launched since 1st January this year.

Accordingly, a total of 1,777 new agency businesses have been registered with Companies House between 1st January and 1st March 2018 – an increase of 9% from 1,621 over the same period last year.

This puts the total number of recruitment agencies in the UK at 37,052 – the highest on record.

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Managing Director at Clearly PR, said: “The recruitment industry continues to defy expectations.

“Despite media reports and some economic forecasters predicting a dip in employer hiring intentions as we edge closer to the UK’s formal withdrawal from the European Union, the opposite is happening. This is serving to fuel the continued growth of the sector.

“2017 was a year of record growth for the recruitment industry and with a marked rise in the number of new entrants to the market over the last two months, combined with a steadying of organisational confidence in the economy, we anticipate 2018 to be another record year.”

Industry growth is to be welcomed. But it comes with its own set of unique challenges – the biggest being how agencies can retain and gain a competitive advantage in a fast-growing market.

“The need for recruitment business leaders and marketers to both understand what sets them apart from their competitors and how to ‘sell’ that difference in a way that makes them a go-to agency of choice, has never been greater,” said Paul MacKenzie-Cummins.

“We have seen a surge in demand among recruitment agencies looking to raise their profile, promote brand ambassadors among their consultant base, and position themselves as leading authorities within each of the sectors they operate.

“They recognise that longevity in the market can only get them so far – the new players in the game know they don’t have that to trade on, so they tend to be more proactive in getting their name ‘out there’. Typically, this involves producing engaging and informative content on their websites and social media, or featuring as ‘experts’ in leading industry and business publications.”

Indeed, Clearly PR has seen a five-fold increase in its recruitment agency client portfolio over the last 12 months, with the company recognised as one of the top two PR firms for the recruitment industry.

“The sector is booming right now, but it’s not just in the UK. For example, we are beginning to see a rise in demand from non-UK recruitment technology providers who look to firms like us for support in replicating the services we provide in the UK to markets overseas – notably the United States.”

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