Thursday 14 January 2021 9:50 am

Recruiter Hays sees fees slip a fifth as hiring slump goes on

Recruitment firm Hays this morning said that second quarter net fees fell 19 per cent as the pandemic continued to squeeze hiring around the world.

However, the fall was better than that recorded in the first quarter, where fees dropped 29 per cent.

As a result, the FTSE 250 hiring firm said that operating profit for the first half of the new financial year was expected to be £25m.

But Hays added that it was “too early” to quantify the effect of the new set of coronavirus restrictions on trading.

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Chief executive Alistair Cox said: “Our markets remain significantly impacted by the pandemic, although encouragingly fees grew sequentially versus the prior quarter, with stronger momentum in both temporary and permanent hiring.   

“Activity in Australia increased after its local lockdown restrictions eased, and we saw improvement in Germany across the quarter with signs of increasing business confidence.

“Fees in the UK rebounded in both the private and public sectors, the Americas delivered good sequential growth and Asia was broadly stable.”

Shares in Hays rose 2.6 per cent on the back of the announcement.