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Global employment and recruitment industry records 8.6% annual growth

The global employment and recruitment industry continues to show solid growth, increasing both the depth and scope of its HR solutions and supporting more than 70m people worldwide to access work each year, according to the Ciett 2016 Economic Report.

Ciett says the report, released today, and based on the very latest available data, demonstrates the pivotal role the sector plays in contributing to more efficient labour markets. The employment and recruitment industry is a labour market enabler supporting companies and workers in adapting to changing demographics, demands and skills. It adds value in four key areas by enabling work, adaptation, security and prosperity.

“The employment and recruitment industry supports people around the world in securing quality work,” said Denis Pennel, Ciett managing director. “From North America to Latin America and from Asia to Europe it identifies jobs, trains people with the skills they need to succeed in the labour market, and helps them make effective transitions throughout their working lives.

“The sector is leading in a changing world of work where expert, tailor-made and adaptable work solutions are already a necessity and will continue to be so in the future.”

Ciett states that the industry represents a widespread network of labour market professionals with a deep knowledge of local dynamics. It offers the full range of HR services including agency work, permanent recruitment, RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) & MSP (Managed Service Provision), as well as career management.

The report found that global annual sales revenue reached €450.4 billion, an increase of 8.6% year-on-year. Agency work grew 12% year-on-year and represents 70% of the sector’s revenues. Permanent recruitment is the second largest service accounting for 11% of revenues at €48bn, while RPO represents 6% of sales at €27bn and other HR services 13% of revenue.

At global level, the sector supported 5m companies in adapting to changing demand and circumstances, according to the report. It also ensured that 4.9m workers around the world received training either directly or through bipartite funds set up by agencies and trade unions. This commitment to lifelong learning supports workers in adapting to the new realities of the workplace.

Agency workers consistently report high levels of satisfaction and appreciate having their careers managed by professionals. They choose to work through agencies for a variety of reasons – from wanting to achieve better work-life balance, to looking to gain experience or work more flexibly.

Ciett claims the sector enables security for both companies and workers. Companies are secure in the knowledge that they can access talent with the skills they need to compete in the marketplace and that they can rely on the industry for tailored-made HR solutions. The industry delivers security to workers by placing them in decent jobs and providing them with stability and income. 30% of people signing with an agency are unemployed and 89% remain in employment at the end of an assignment as the sector provides a stepping stone into the world of work.

Companies using recruitment and employment agencies to meet their staffing needs enjoy turnover growth on average 5% higher than those who do not, according to Ciett. Agencies keep people in employment thereby supporting governments, notably by enabling social payments and reducing the level of unemployment allowances. The industry itself directly employs some 1.6m staff globally.

While the sector is expanding, agency workers represent just 1.6% of the global working population. The highest share of agency workers in larger markets stands at 3-4%. Today, 90% of global industry revenues are derived from the top ten markets. China is the largest market followed by the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.

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