Despite insecurity caused by Brexit, London based recruiter, Robert Walters, has achieved astonishing results in the fourth quarter of 2017. The firm, which employs 3,794 people, has posted a gross profit increase of 22%, at £90.5 million, in the final quarter. These figures were boosted by City firms hiring in volume.
The company’s balance sheet has also improved. At the end of 2017, it showed a figure of £30.7 million, compared with £22.5m at the end of 2016. The company’s UK fee income has risen by 13%, to £26.2 million.
Robert Walters’ share price spiked after the release of these figures, but declined by 1.52%. The company has announced that it will publish full year financial results on 1st March 2018.
Current hiring in London is predominantly focused on the financial, technology and legal sectors. Mr Walters is also expecting to see the recruitment of cyber security professionals to grow soon. It is anticipated that this sector will surge in both mature and growing markets. Rival recruitment firm, Hays, has reported that average salaries for cyber security workers increased by more than 10% increase in the previous year, due to a severe skills shortage.
Large businesses have also been looking further than London for offices. Information shows that impressive performance in Milton Keynes, St. Albans and Manchester has boosted fee income growth in the UK. Growth has been strong in both the North and North West of the UK, and exporters have ramped up their hiring demand.
During the summer months last year, hiring in the UK reduced. This perceptibly affected rivals Hays and Page Group. In October, Page Group suggested that the market contraction was due to a confidence issue amongst clients, with most firms believing that political uncertainty and Brexit were to blame.
The firm’s CEO, Robert Walters, agrees that Brexit is having an impact, but feels that there are significant opportunities arising from it. He believes that larger companies are starting to look at more innovative ways to recruit, which has led to impressive growth in his firms outsourcing activities. Firms want to continue with traditional recruitment methods, but also want to include security and social media.
If financial firms in London lose their rights to offer services to companies located elsewhere in the EU, the firm’s offices would be strengthened in other European cities like Frankfurt, Dublin and Paris. Mr. Walters is confident that his firm would be strategically located to serve them there, and also further afield in financial centres like Hong Kong and New York.
There is currently a shortage of people in Europe with experience in financial services, and because of this, it’s likely that the need to use a recruitment firm will increase. When there is a recruitment drive and insufficient numbers of candidates, salaries also tend to rise with it.
70% of Robert Walters’ fee income came from outside of the UK in the past year. Within this, European fee income has risen by 28%, Asia Pacific fee income has grown by 13% and an enormous 108% surge has come from what the firm calls its ‘other international’ category, which includes North America, Brazil, the Middle East and South Africa.
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