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23 stats every recruiter needs to know

We’ve collated 23 key industry stats that recruitment professionals need to know in 2019.

  1. 46% year-on-year increase in recruitment company registrations (8,448 – 2018, 5,824 – 2017). (Companies House)
  2. Recruitment industry grew its valuation by 11% to £35.7 billion in 2018. (REC)
  3. 86% of the UK recruitment industry turnover is comprised of contract placements. (REC)
  4. Average value of a contract placement up 20% on 2016/17 to £34,976. (REC)
  5. A record 32.5 million people are employed. (ONS)
  6. 39,329 recruitment agencies registered since 1980. (Sonovate)
  7. Recruiters and associated HR services placed over 1.1 million people into permanent jobs in 2017/18. (REC)
  8. 115,000 people employed in the recruitment industry.
  9. 849,000 jobs were unfilled in September-November 2018, compared with 809,000 in 2017. (ONS)
  10. 84% of all recruitment agency company registrations in the UK took place in the last decade (2008-18). (Sonovate)
  11. The average value of permanent placements from the wider recruitment industry was £4,238 (up by 6.4 per cent on the average in 2016/17).
  12. London is the most popular place for a recruitment startup, followed by Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. (onrec)
  13. 15% of the UK’s working population are self-employed, totaling 4.88 million people. (BBC)
  14. Since 2010, 3.3 million people have entered work, at an average of 1,000 people every day. (GOV.UK)
  15. McKinsey & Co reported in 2016 that up to 162 million people in Europe and the US engaged in some form of independent work. (McKinsey)
  16. Self-employed contribution to the UK economy was £271bn in 2017. (IPSE)
  17. The FCSA (Freelancer and Contractor Services Association) estimate that 70% of the growth in self-employment since 2008 has been at the highly skilled end of the spectrum in the following ONS categories: managers, directors and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical positions. (FCSA)
  18. UK pay growth rises to 3.1%, the highest in almost a decade. (BBC)
  19. 85 per cent of contract placements were for 12+ weeks, and 45 per cent of contract workers were on assignment for 6+ months. (REC)
  20. 43% of the contract market is highly skilled professionals, meaning higher margins are available for recruiters. (SIA)
  21. Global contract market generated $419bn in 2017. (SIA)
  22. The top three countries for contract recruitment are the US, Japan and the UK. (SIA)
  23. In 2018, the number and proportion of people in work hit record levels despite some predictions that unemployment would rise following the Brexit vote. (FT)


Sonovate in numbers

  • 42% of agencies taking their first facility in 2018 chose Sonovate
  • In total, Sonovate’s funded over £750m invoices
  • Over 2,200 businesses use Sonovate
  • Over 350,000 payments made to customers
  • *Fastest-growing UK fintech and 12th fastest-growing private British business

*Beauhurst and SyndicateRoom profiled the 100 fastest-growing companies based on how their valuations have grown over the past three years

How to grow your contract recruitment agency

Discover everything you need to know about entering, scaling and thriving in the UK contract recruitment market.

In this ebook

  • State of the contract market
  • Why enter the contract market?
  • Outsourcing to grow
  • Setting your growth strategy in motion
  • How to find the clients hiring contractors
  • How to work compliantly
  • How to build a network of contractors
  • 5 Sectors primed for growth in 2019

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