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SThree expects talent search to drive demand for contract roles

·2-min read
Illustration shows smartphone with SThree's logo displayed

By Amna Karimi

(Reuters) -British recruitment firm SThree Plc said on Monday it was seeing robust demand for contract roles as employers search for the right talent in a competitive job market, after forecasting its annual profit would beat market consensus.

Although British companies are struggling with rising inflation and employees with the high cost of living, London-listed SThree said that it had continued to make gains as an increase in wages for candidates it placed lifted its net fees.

SThree, which primarily hires people with life sciences and technology expertise, said group net fees for the six months ended May 31 rose 23.6% to 203.1 million pounds ($249 million), lifting its shares by 5% to 335 pence at 1100 GMT.

"Our business had largely recovered from the pandemic in Q2 last year, so this is the first period in which we have been able to provide a true like-for-like comparison," SThree Chief Executive Timo Lehne said.

SThree said the contract side of SThree's business was doing particularly well, with potential employees having a "much bigger, greater sense and view of different projects, different work environments".

"We believe it has further to accelerate, that there is a certain desire from staff not only the younger generations, but also the more experienced generations to not only work in a very traditional working model," Lehne told Reuters.

Net fees in SThree's three biggest markets soared, with the Netherlands, Germany and the United States up 41%, 22% and 21% respectively.

Lehne said that while SThree was closely monitoring the macroeconomic environment, its focus on flexible working was paying off.

Britain's jobless rate rose for the first time since late 2020, data showed last week.

($1 = 0.8173 pounds)

(Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Shailesh Kuber and David Evans)

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