The weaker performance in Asia, which represents 29pc of group fees, was partially offset by 12pc net fee growth in Europe and the rest of the world, worth 40pc of the group, with Germany again its top performer.
Chief Executive Alistair Cox said on Thursday that he was pleased 12 countries delivered growth of more than 10pc but that the UK, Southern Europe and banking-related specialisms remained tough.
"Overall, we expect conditions to remain fragile," he said.
The slowdown in resources and mining hit permanent recruitment particularly hard in Australia and New Zealand in the three months to end-December, with overall fees there down 15pc and Asia also declining.
Hays cut its headcount in the Asia Pacific region by 6pc in the quarter.
Australia's economy grew at its slowest pace in a year-and-a-half in the third quarter as the country's mining boom began to level out, not helped by government cutbacks and lower export revenues.
Analysts at Jefferies said they were hopeful of improved momentum in the second half of the year but downgraded 2013 earnings per share by 5pc on the news to 4.47p.
"A deterioration in high margin Asia Pacific and improvement in low margin UK is unhelpful for profitability," analysts said in the note.
Hays shares ended up 6.6pc to 91.16p.