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Robert Walters sees record December amid ‘fierce’ competition for talent

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Recruitment firm Robert Walters has cheered a record December performance as it said job markets in the UK and worldwide continue to suffer a shortage of candidates.

The group said wages were bring driven up by a “fierce competition for talent”, with shortages of staff across all locations and sectors.

In the UK, it said the legal, commerce finance and technology disciplines were among the hottest sectors in the hiring market as firms battle it out to secure workers.

Its best-ever month in December helped group-wide net fee income rise 39% year-on-year on a constant currency basis to £95.1 million in the fourth quarter, keeping it on track for “comfortably” better than expected annual profits.

Robert Walters said net fee income rose 21% over 2021 as a whole.

Founder and chief executive Robert Walters said: “We are seeing candidate shortages across all locations and disciplines, a fierce competition for talent and wage inflation kicking in, which together create huge opportunities across the recruitment market.”

The firm said UK net fee income rose 7% to £16 million in the final three months of last year.

The group said in July last year that salary hikes of up to 30% were “commonplace” for some hard-to-source roles across the UK as the hiring crisis took hold.

The recruitment sector has been buoyed worldwide as economies have reopened since the early lockdowns in the pandemic, with Robert Walters seeing strong trading across all its international operations.

It notched up the strongest growth in Asia Pacific over the fourth quarter, with a 56% rise in net fee income, with Europe ahead by 36% and a 48% jump across its other overseas markets division.

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