UK Recruitment Market Report 2023
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“The UK recruitment market has been heavily propelled by the larger trend of the ‘great resignation’. However, this trend is expected to have a reduced impact over 2023 as increased…

UK Recruitment Market Report 2023

$ 1,995 (Excl.Tax)


Stay ahead of the curve in the UK recruitment market and future-proof your business with Mintel’s UK Recruitment Market Report 2023. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviours affecting your industry, alongside data-driven recommendations. Get a 360° view of the UK recruitment market including market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with your audiences’ needs. Below, we’ve handpicked key insights from the full report.

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Topics Analysed in this Report

  • UK recruitment market size and forecast for 2022 and beyond.
  • Insights into recruitment market trends, including a focus on how recruiters are benefiting from the ‘great unretirement’ and a closer look at the opportunities of sustainable recruitment.
  • Drivers of growth in the UK recruitment market, including the impact of inflation.

UK Recruitment Market Outlook

The market has witnessed two extraordinary years of growth in 2021 and 2022, heavily propelled by the ’great resignation’ trend. This has seen an exodus of UK workers leaving their jobs and moving to another one within a 12-month period, which was initially driven by a desire for a greater sense of ‘purpose’. However, as inflation has spiked, the consequent cost of living crisis has caused workers to seek greater salaries to protect themselves from rising costs.

  • UK recruitment market size: The market value reached £141.2 billion in 2022. This growth represents a cumulative £20.1 billion increase on 2019’s value.

Recruitment Market Trends and Innovation Opportunities

The ‘war for talent’ continues

The UK economy has been held back by an acute skills shortage in certain sectors – particularly in those that require IT and technical skills. These skills shortages are creating an industry-labelled ‘war for talent’ since the shortage of talent available is driving recruiters to innovate and use every initiative possible to secure and consolidate their hold on the scarce amount of talent available. Understand how this development impacts the UK recruitment market and how providers should respond in the full report.

UK job vacancies depreciate

UK workers staying in their current jobs is expected to continue, with ONS data showing vacancies decreasing 11% since mid-2022. Economic stagnation and ‘recession fatigue’ are deterring job movement, while businesses are cutting hiring budgets due to rising costs and dwindling revenues. However, Mintel’s analysis outlines how online business portals and upskilling services may shield some of the UK recruitment market growth, particularly in key sectors like the green economy.

To learn how to connect with your audience, purchase our full UK Consumer Attitudes to Staycations vs. Holidays Abroad Market Report 2023.  Discover lucrative innovation opportunities to help your business grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Leading Brands in the UK Recruitment Market

Hays Talent Networks, Adecco, Page Group, Randstad, Reed.

Expert Insights from a B2B Analyst

This report, written by Jack Maskell, a leading analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK recruitment market and add expert context to the numbers.

The UK recruitment market has been heavily propelled by the larger trend of the ‘great resignation’. However, this trend is expected to have a reduced impact over 2023 as increased economic volatility is hardening labour movement intentions. Meanwhile, shortages of talent are generating a new highly competitive environment within the recruitment market which is being dubbed as a ‘war for talent’. Companies are seeking the greatest opportunities provided by this through the introduction of data-driven recruitment strategies.”

Jack Maskell

Jack Maskell
B2B Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Five-year outlook for recruitment
      • Figure 1: Five-year outlook for recruitment , 2023-27
    • Forecast
    • The market will rebalance over 2023 and 2024 as the great resignation effect stagnates
      • Figure 2: UK recruitment market size and forecast, 2017-27, (£ billion)
    • Market Size
    • Market dips slightly in 2022 as recession fears emerged
      • Figure 3: UK recruitment market value, 2018-22, (£ billion)
    • Market Segmentation
    • Rise in portfolio careers sustains temporary occupation dominance of the market
      • Figure 4: UK recruitment Market value by segment, 2018-22, (£ billion).
    • Market Trends and Drivers
    • The ‘great unretirement’ shows a new dimension due to inflationary pressures
    • The ‘war for talent’ heats up as recruiters look to data-driven initiatives
      • Figure 5: Employment level and activity of age group over 50 and 65+ over 2022 (in thousands).
    • UK job vacancies depreciate as employee job-seeking movement hardens
      • Figure 6: UK vacancies, Q1 2020 to Q4 2022, (thousands)
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Emerging business rift with WFH culture will provide expansion opportunities for recruitment firms
  4. Market Size

    • Market dips in 2022 but total value remains 15% above pre-pandemic level
      • Figure 7: UK recruitment market value, 2018-22, (£ billion)
    • The ‘great resignation’ propels growth for the market into 2022
    • Recession fatigue raises concerns for growth opportunities
  5. Market Segmentation

    • Overview
    • Recession fears may tempt Gen Z workers into permanent roles
    • Rise in ‘portfolio’ working in temporary occupations provides a consistent stream of revenue for recruitment
      • Figure 8: UK recruitment market value, by segment, 2018-22 (£ billion)
  6. Market Forecast

    • Five-year outlook for recruitment
      • Figure 9: Five-year outlook for recruitment, 2023-27
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 10: Industry performance following the last recession, 2012-16, (£ billion)
    • The market will rebalance itself over 2023 and 2024…
      • Figure 11: Market forecast of UK recruitment market, 2023-27, (£ billion)
    • … as the ‘great resignation’ effect stagnates
      • Figure 12: UK monthly job vacancies across all sectors, Q1 2020 – Q4 2022, (thousands)
    • Redundancies and cut recruitment budgets could also impact growth development
  7. The Impact of the Economy

    • Recession fears still remain as growth remains precarious
      • Figure 13: Quarter-on-Quarter GDP growth rate, Q3 2021 – Q4 2022, (% change)
    • Bank Rate rises for the ninth time in 12 months as inflationary remain high
      • Figure 14: Bank Rate, by date of adjustment, 2008-22, (%)
    • … whilst growth in real earnings declines
      • Figure 15: Real average weekly earnings, total pay, January-December 2022, (% monthly change year-on-year, seasonally adjusted)
  8. Market Trends

    • The cost of living crisis promotes a new upskilling trend in the ‘great unretirement’
      • Figure 16: Employment and activity level of those aged over 50, May-July 2022 to October-December 2022, (number)
    • Data-driven recruitment enables recruiters to exploit the demand for upskilling
    • Sustainable recruitment provides businesses with a platform for capturing the Gen Z workforce
  9. Market Drivers

    • Inflation pressures help sustain the great resignation
    • Skill shortages driving a ‘war for talent’
      • Figure 17: Net migration levels to the UK, Year-on-Year, 2019-22, (thousands of people)
    • ‘Green economy’ becomes a key area for recruiters
    • Data-driven recruitment provides competitive advantage
  10. Industry Structure

    • Industry development
    • Changes in industrial structure
    • The ‘war for talent’ leads to unequal growth
      • Figure 18: Changes in industry structure of activities relating to the recruitment market, 2018-22, (number of businesses and outlets)
    • Changes in employment structure
      • Figure 19: Changes in the employment structure of activities relating to the recruitment market, 2021 and 2022, (number of outlets and share of total)
    • Changes in financial structure
      • Figure 20: Changes in the financial structure of activities relating to the recruitment market, 2021 and 2022, (£000, number of businesses, and share of total)
  11. Competitive Strategies

    • Hays Talent Networks provide an insightful strategy into how recruiters are winning the ’war’ for talent
    • Adecco partners with Greenwich University to boost its ED&I levels
  12. Company Profiles

    • Adecco UK
    • Recent company activity
    • Financial information
      • Figure 21: Financial analysis of Adecco UK, 2017-21, (£ million and %)
    • Hays
    • Recent company activity
    • Financial information
      • Figure 22: Financial Analysis of Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd, 2018-22, (£ million and %)
    • Page Group
    • Recent company activity
    • Financial information
      • Figure 23: Financial Analysis of Page Group, 2017021, (£ million and %)
    • Randstad
    • Recent company activity
    • Financial information
      • Figure 24: Financial analysis of Randstad CPE limited, 2017-21, (£ million and %)
    • Reed
    • Reed in Partnership
    • Recent company activity
    • Financial information
      • Figure 25: Financial analysis of Reed in Partnership, 2017-21, (£000 and %)
    • Reed Online
    • Financial information
      • Figure 26: Financial analysis of Reed Online, 2017-21, (£000 and %).
    • Reed Specialist Recruitment
    • Financial information
      • Figure 27: Financial Analysis of Reed Specialist Recruitment, 2017-21, (£ million and %)
  13. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Methodology
  14. Appendix: Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 28: The UK market for recruitment, 2022-27, (£ billion)
    • Market drivers and assumptions
    • Forecast methodology
  15. Further Sources and Contacts

    • Trade Associations
    • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
    • Recruitment and Employment Confederation
    • Association of Professional Staffing Companies
    • Recruitment Society
    • Trade magazines
    • Human Resources
    • People Management
    • Personnel Today
    • Recruiter
    • TALiNT International

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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