Daily Mail

Global hiring slowdown takes toll on recruiters

- By John Abiona

RECRUITERS have been hit by a global hiring slowdown.

As stock markets around the world reeled from mounting global tensions and concerns over inflation and interest rates, Hays and Robert Walters became the latest headhunter­s to warn that conditions remain tough.

The updates came just a day after Page Group revealed it has cut jobs as clients tighten their belts and take longer to press the button on hiring staff.

All three recruitmen­t firms reported that confidence among companies and workers was low while those moving job can no longer expect bumper pay days.

Hays specialise­s in finding jobs for those who want to work in the technology, life sciences, engineerin­g and constructi­on and property sectors, with salaries ranging from £30,000 to £150,000 a year.

Group fees fell 17pc in the third quarter to the end of March. The group said it is too early to determine whether there will be a ‘ meaningful rebound’ in the fourth quarter.

Fees at Robert Walters plunged 21pc to £ 81.3m in the three months to the end of March.

The group, which recruits profession­als in sectors such as accountanc­y and finance, engineerin­g and healthcare, ended the period with 3,812 staff.

That was down 13pc on the same period a year ago. In the UK, its fee income plunged 20pc though it rose in London for the first time in five quarters.

Shares in Hays slid 4.3pc, or 4p, to 88.5p, Robert Walters retreated 4.9pc, or 19p, to 371p and Page Group slid 0.5pc, or 2p, to 438p.

Stock markets dived as Israel vowed to retaliate following Iran’s drone attacks over the weekend.

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 1.8pc, or 145.17 points, to 7820.36 and the FTSE 250 shed 1.8pc, or 354.35 points, to 19,344.54.

A gloomy note from JP Morgan dragged mining stocks lower.

Anglo American lost 3.4pc, or 74p, to 2095p, Rio Tinto slid 2.9pc, or 156p, to 5254p, Glencore fell 3.1pc, or 15.05p, to 466.6p and Antofagast­a declined 3pc, or 67p, to 2208p.

Auction Technology Group, which operates online marketplac­es that allow bidders to access items such as paintings, sofas and antiques, lowered its revenue forecast for this year. The firm reported a weaker performanc­e at its North American arm which sells items from agricultur­al machinery to classic cars. Shares plunged 15.6pc, or 97p, to 526p.

Equipment lender Ashtead Technology failed to raise its forecasts for this year even though it reported a stellar performanc­e in 2023. Revenues jumped 51.1pc to £110.5m last year alongside a 68.9pc surge in profits to £27.5m.

The group, which also carries out maintenanc­e and repair work, said its expectatio­n for 2024 ‘remains unchanged’. Shares tumbled 9.4pc, or 71p, to 687p.

Everyman Media, the UK’s fourth largest cinema business, saw admissions rise 9.7pc to 3.75m in the year to December 28. Food and drink spending per head was up 10.2pc. Average ticket prices rose 3.2pc. Shares gained 4.4pc, or 2.5p, to 59p.

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