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Reopening hits home: Hays surges on ‘hot’ jobs market but QinetiQ crashes on supply chain warnings

·2-min read
Domino’s is looking to hire more people in the UK  (Domino's)
Domino’s is looking to hire more people in the UK (Domino's)

Shortages of staff and supplies are creating winners and losers across the economy as recruiter Hays sees business boom and others such as defence firm Qinetiq grapple with shortages.

Recruiter Hays saw shares shoot higher today after saying a tight jobs market was prompting huge demand for its services.

The UK’s permanent recruitment market is the “hottest” it has been since 2007, Hays’ finance chief declared, with salary rises of up to 20% now the norm in some sectors.

Paul Venables told the Evening Standard: “For most companies the sheer scale and speed of recovery post-pandemic has been much better than they could have expected.” Hays, which has 11,000 employees globally, of which 2500 are in the UK, said net fees were up 41% in the first quarter.

Analysts had been expecting 36% growth. Shares in the FTSE 250 company gained 3.91p to 166.21p.

Domino’s today announced plans to hire 8,000 more people across the UK and Ireland, adding to its existing 35,000-strong total workforce. The new roles are largely delivery driver jobs and most are permanent. The hiring spree comes as the firm reported sales up 9.8% to £375.8 million in the 13 weeks to September 26.

Chief executive Dominic Paul said: “Our supply chain continues to deliver outstanding results, despite the well-publicised inflationary pressures and challenging labour market... While we see these pressures continuing into 2022, our success in managing them to date provides us with confidence that our growth momentum will be sustained.”

The tight jobs market Hays is benefiting from is causing problems elsewhere. National Express said it was managing to “successfully mitigate the financial impact of ongoing driver shortages” but warned that it would have to hike driver pay by 5% next year to hang on to staff. Shipping containers and parts are in short supply as well as staff.

Defence contractor Qinetiq saw its stock sink almost 9% today after it said the issues sourcing parts could lead to a write-off of as much as £15 million.

Poundland’s owner PepCo said it was seeing “significantly increased shipping costs” and said: “The backdrop against which we operate will remain challenging for some time.”

The updates across the corporate world all reflect the unusual state of the global economy, facing surging demand as the pandemic fades.

A mismatch between supply of goods and workers and demand for both is creating huge problems for some businesses and opportunities for others. The imbalance is threatening to cause spiralling wage inflation and shortages over Christmas.

US President Joe Biden and UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak have both been forced to reassure citizens about the strength of supply chains this week.

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