Press releases

Improved growth in private recruitment sector signifies healthy labour market

APSCo Deloitte 2015 UK Recruitment Index reveals stronger performance across the sector

6 July 2015

  • 83% of recruitment firms surveyed report an increase in net fee income
  • 30% plan to open new offices in the next year
  • 62% cite growing headcount as greatest challenge - firms continue to professionalise to meet growing demand

The UK recruitment sector, a key indicator of the UK’s broader economic health, has shown a third year of strong performance, according to new research from Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). 

This year, over 80% of firms reported an increase in net fee income, with average weighted growth across all respondents of 12%. In addition, almost a third of respondents (30%) said that they planned to open more offices in the next year.

The UK Recruitment Index 2015, which surveyed over 200 recruitment firms, also paints the picture of a sector that is continuing to professionalise. 98% of respondents stated that the training and development of staff was an important factor in securing future growth, while 62% highlighted accessing talent as their number one challenge for the year ahead.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, comments: “The UK recruitment sector is a £30 billion market and it is very encouraging to see that growth has not only been sustained, but has also increased since our last report. This can only bode well for the overall economic landscape and the results underline the importance of the private recruitment sector to the UK’s flexible labour market.”

Katie Folwell-Davies, financial advisory partner and lead partner for human capital services, Deloitte, comments: “A key focus is investing in talent to support growth and profitability targets, particularly as 41% of respondents indicated that some level of merger and acquisition activity may be on the agenda. The sector remains highly competitive and it is harder to find and retain employees, with more pressure on firms to provide an attractive package that offers a range of financial and non-financial benefits.”


Notes to editors

The annual APSCo Deloitte UK Recruitment Index 2015 is based on a benchmarking survey targeted at private recruitment firms operating in professional sectors. Data from over 200 participants was received. The purpose of the survey is to produce an index of certain key financial and operational performance metrics, providing a benchmark for professional recruitment companies.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

About APSCo

APSCo is the membership body that is dedicated to representing professional recruitment in the UK. It was formed to give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. It gives candidates and employers a trusted badge of quality whilst providing member firms with an innovative range of services designed for them by recruitment experts. These services, combined with its growing international profile, commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and opportunities for professional networking give APSCo members a unique opportunity to develop their businesses and gain competitive advantage ( 

Kaylin Duckitt
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 70072040


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