Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

UK Recruitment market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Recruitment market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key Issues Covered

  • How can the recruitment industry and the government help combat British skill shortages in the coming years?
  • How has the structure of the UK labour market, and demand in the recruitment industry, changed in recent years?
  • How has the UK job market performed over the past year in the wake of Brexit, and the climate of uncertainty surrounding it?
  • With the finalisation of negotiations now only 18 months away, how will this climate impact the industry over the coming years?
  • What does the future look like for the recruitment market?


The recruitment industry consists of firms, agencies, consultants, and a range of online services, placing both permanent and temporary employees into work. Overall, recruiters refer to third-party organisations that aim to match appropriate employees with employers.These recruiters typically operate from specific skills-based, general skills-based, and more specialist agents.

The definition of e-recruitment is any recruitment activity in which the main method of correspondence and communication is over the internet.

All values quoted in this report are at current prices unless otherwise specified.

Segmentation of Temporary and Contract Employment through Recruitment

  • Accounting/financial
  • Blue collar
  • Computing and IT
  • Construction
  • Drivers
  • Education/teaching
  • Executive/professional

Segmentation of Permanent Employment through Recruitment

  • Accounting/financial
  • Computing and IT
  • Construction
  • Drivers
  • Education/teaching
  • Hotel/catering
  • Human resources

Company Profiles

  • Adecco UK
  • Advantage Resourcing UK
  • Hays Plc
  • Impellam Group UK
  • Kelly Services UK
  • Manpower UK
  • Page Group
  • Pertemps Recruitment Partnership
  • Reed
  • SThree
  • Robert Walters

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marco Amasanti, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

One year on from Brexit and the recruitment market has sustained growth to refute the declines widely expected in line with mounting uncertainty. However, while immediate uncertainties have not translated into a slowdown in hiring intentions, fears remain around widening skills shortages and the slow-burning manifestation of uncertainty, with hesitancy creeping into the business landscape, triggering a gradual, systemic reduction of labour forces. Marco Amasanti
B2B Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?


Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.


Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.


A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The recruitment market maintains growth, though this remains pressured somewhat by the ongoing air of uncertainty
              • Figure 1: UK recruitment market value and forecast, £ billion, 2014-23
            • Growth in temporary recruitment continues to surpass the permanent sector
              • Companies and brands
                • Continued growth in new recruitment agencies
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Growing skills shortages
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Ongoing impact of Brexit uncertainty
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Recruitment industry continues to grow, though this remains pressured by the air of uncertainty
                                  • Growth in temporary recruitment continues to surpass the permanent sector
                                    • Market forecast to maintain growth in the coming years
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Market value continues year-on-year growth
                                        • Figure 2: UK recruitment market value, £ billion, 2014-18
                                      • Public sector employment continues to fall alongside centralisation efforts
                                        • Figure 3: Total UK public sector employment, '000, 2014-18
                                      • Private sector employment accelerates in 2018
                                        • Figure 4: Total UK private sector employment, '000, 2014-18
                                    • Market Segmentation

                                      • Temporary recruitment continues to dominate amid uncertainty
                                          • Figure 5: Recruitment market value, by type, £ billion, 2014-18
                                        • Temporary recruitment segmentation remains largely stable in 2018
                                          • Figure 6: Segmentation of temporary and contract employment through recruitment, % by volume, 2016 and 2017
                                          • Figure 7: Segmentation of temporary and contract employment through recruitment, % by volume, 2017
                                        • Education, healthcare and driver sectors propel permanent recruitment demand
                                          • Figure 8: Segmentation of permanent employment through recruitment, % by volume, 2016 and 2017
                                          • Figure 9: Segmentation of permanent employment through recruitment, % by volume, 2017
                                      • Market Forecast

                                        • Market forecast to maintain growth in coming years
                                          • Figure 10: UK recruitment market forecast, £ billion, 2014-23
                                        • Population projections
                                          • Figure 11: National working age population projections, million people, mid-2016 and mid-2041
                                      • The Impact of the Economy

                                        • Business confidence and investment
                                            • Figure 12: UK Business investment, £ million, Q1 2015-Q1 2018
                                            • Figure 13: UK business confidence index, Q3 2012-Q3 2018
                                        • Market Trends

                                          • Employment levels
                                            • Figure 14: UK Employment levels, '000 people, 2009-18
                                            • Figure 15: UK employment rate, % of those aged 16 to 64, 2009-18
                                          • Unemployment levels
                                            • Figure 16: UK unemployment rate, % of those aged 16 and over, 2009-18
                                          • Job vacancies
                                            • Figure 17: UK job vacancies, '000 vacancies, May-July 2009-18
                                            • Figure 18: Job vacancies by industry, May-July 2017 and May-July 2018
                                          • Regional differences
                                            • Figure 19: Regional analysis of UK employment rates, % of those aged 16 to 64, April-June 2017 & 2018
                                            • Figure 20: Regional analysis of UK employment, employment rates, March 2018
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Brexit uncertainties and the potential supply shock
                                            • Skills shortages
                                              • Training required to meet skills shortage
                                                  • Figure 21: UK Growing skills shortages, number of unemployed people & number of job vacancies, '000 people and '000 vacancies, 2009-18
                                                • GDPR
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Continued rise in new recruitment agencies
                                                  • Industry Structure

                                                      • Changes in the structure of the industry
                                                        • Figure 22: Analysis of the changes in the structure of the recruitment industry, number of outlets and businesses, 2013-17
                                                      • Structure by employment
                                                        • Figure 23: Analysis of the employment structure of the Recruitment industry, 2016 and 2017
                                                      • Structure by turnover
                                                        • Figure 24: Analysis of the financial structure of the recruitment industry, £'000 and businesses, 2016 and 2017
                                                    • Company Profiles

                                                        • Adecco UK
                                                          • Recent company activity
                                                            • Financial information
                                                              • Figure 25: Financial analysis of Adecco UK, £ million, 2013-17
                                                            • Hays Plc
                                                              • Financial information
                                                                • Figure 26: Financial analysis of Hays Plc, £ million, 2013-17
                                                              • Impellam Group UK
                                                                • Recent company activity
                                                                  • Financial information
                                                                    • Figure 27: Financial analysis of Impellam Group, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                  • Page Group
                                                                    • Recent company activity
                                                                      • Financial information
                                                                        • Figure 28: Financial analysis of Page Group, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                      • Reed
                                                                        • Reed in Partnership
                                                                          • Financial information
                                                                            • Figure 29: Financial analysis of Reed in Partnership, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                          • Reed Online
                                                                            • Financial information
                                                                              • Figure 30: Financial analysis of Reed Online, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                            • Reed Learning
                                                                              • Financial information
                                                                                • Figure 31: Financial analysis of Reed Learning, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                              • Reed Specialist Recruitment
                                                                                • Financial information
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Financial analysis of Reed Specialist Recruitment, £ million, 2013-2017
                                                                                • Robert Walters
                                                                                  • Recent company activity
                                                                                    • Financial information
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Financial analysis of Robert Walters, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                                    • SThree
                                                                                      • Recent company activity
                                                                                        • Financial information
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Financial analysis of SThree Plc, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                            • 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
                                                                                                            • Online Recruitment Magazine
                                                                                                              • People Management
                                                                                                                • Personnel Today
                                                                                                                  • Recruiter
                                                                                                                    • Recruitment International
                                                                                                                      • Trade events
                                                                                                                        • Recruitment Agency Expo
                                                                                                                          • Recruitment Agency Expo