9th March 2018

Record numbers of recruitment start-ups, but what does it really mean?


New recruitment companies formed at record breaking levels

In February we looked at the topic of recruitment sector data driven headlines and considered how they could appear contradictory and complementary at the same time. Often, an individual statistic is taken in isolation and is paraded as a bellwether that supports a concrete fact. However, we should be wary of reading too much into it because, often, an individual data point is meaningless without context.
Another recruitment data point that is of great interest to the industry is that relating to start-up activity. An FOI request to Companies House revealed that 9001 recruitment firms newly registered between January and mid-December 2017, an average of 818 per month, bringing the total number of recruitment firms to 35,275, a record. Compare this with 2016 where an average of 540 start-ups per month swelled numbers by 6,485.
Some analysis reads this data as indicating:

These seem possible, even reasonable. But is it a series of assertions that are connected to construct a narrative that everything is coming up roses?

What else is going on out there?

If we consider some of the other recent headline grabbing recruitment sector data that’s out there and from which predictive analysis has flowed:

These figures are also used to construct some common narratives. One of them is that the UK economy is going to tank as it is starved of talent. Another is that Brexit should be overturned because it is going to damage the nation’s wealth.
These are bold, even brave assertions. But are they stretching too far, and should we be wary of sweeping statements based on a relatively narrow view, especially where they are used to shape opinion around major economic, political and legislative issues?

So, what does the growth in recruitment company numbers really mean?

Perhaps if we bear this in mind, we can gain a little more insight from the growth of the numbers of companies in the recruitment sector.
Over 2016-17 we can say that growth is certainly double digit – in fact a whopping 28% year-on-year – and this suggests the recruitment trade is buoyant. That seems a pretty reasonable conclusion, and there are a number of others:

Leverage technology with ETZ

Whether you’re an established or new recruitment agency, ETZ recruitment back office automation and integration supports business success by enabling you to leverage technology.
With ETZ, recruitment businesses automate processing eliminating time-consuming manual tasks to reduce back office costs by up to 85%.
To find out more about how we can help your recruitment agency towards a more efficient back office, just get in touch.
See how The Telegraph reveals some of the deeper data around resource and skills shortages in health and social work and the hotel and food industries in the article ‘Struggle to fill vacancies amid UK jobs boom’.

Download your free guide

7 smart ideas to grow your recruitment agency.

Download Now
Download your free guide

Latest Posts


Video interviewing and the art of the F2F interviewVideo interviewing and the art of the F2F interview

4th May 2021

Uptake of business technologies like video accelerated by 4-7 years Lock down has caused recruiters to adjust by embracing new...

Read more

Legal challenges and market forces to make gig economy find its levelLegal challenges and market forces to make gig economy find its level

26th April 2021

The gig economy and job market disruption The gig economy is here to stay. However, the way that some marketplace...

Read more

How are predictions about AI playing out in the jobs market?How are predictions about AI playing out in the jobs market?

19th April 2021

How the future of work is being shaped by automation in Australia For several years, there has been widespread speculation...

Read more

See what ETZ could do for your agency with an online demo

Save hassle, time and money with our powerful software.

Book a Demo

Sign Up To Our Newsletter