Robert Walters said the group had benefitted from increased hiring activity in the UK, particularly the banking sector, while Hays said that the UK private sector was starting to display modest growth.
“We are expecting recovery and a return to year on year growth. The UK banking sector is starting to see a recovery, which is mostly candidate driven as people with jobs are starting to look for new work,” said Hays finance director Paul Venables.
Hays saw a five per cent dip in overall fees for the first quarter but said that compared to the previous quarter, net fees were up by two per cent.
The London-based recruiter said that Asia Pacific saw the strongest growth, with the company increasing headcount in the region by 10 per cent.
“We have seen a significant improvement in recruitment activity in the first quarter, with Asia Pacific in particular delivering a strong profit,” said chief executive Robert Walters who leads the firm that bears his name. Fee income for the Asia Pacific region was up by 63 per cent to £14.9m. Overall fee income was up by 30 per cent to £32.6m, with UK profits up by 23 per cent to £10.1m.
Headcount numbers rose to 1,402.