A resurgence in recruitment activity triggered by firms rapidly scaling staffing numbers after Covid restrictions were lifted has pushed first half profits to record levels at recruiter Robert Walters.
The group registered a pre-tax profit of £22.1m in the first six months of 2021 compared with £4.2m for the same period a year earlier.
Read more: London dominates hiring hotspots in the UK
Profits for the period were also higher than the company’s £20.9m figure for the first six months of 2019.
The figures highlight the scale that companies across the UK ramped up recruitment activity ahead of the Covid unlocking to cope with expected enormous demand.
Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows firms increased payrolled staff by 356,000 over the last month.
However, severe supply and demand mismatches have crept into the labour market, with businesses struggling to attract staff despite boosting job benefits.
Worker shortages are being intensified by the so-called “pingdemic” and furlough limiting the supply of labour due to workers being reluctant to come back to jobs that may disappear in the coming months.
Robert Walters’ share price was down 1.98 per cent during the morning session.
The recruitment firm said “we enter the second half of the year with cautious optimism and confidence that we will continue to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.”