PageGroup has become the second recruiter in as many days to report record performance, with profits surging in the final few months of 2021.
Gross profits jumped by 55% to £246.8 million in the fourth quarter, with record-breaking performance in 17 countries. That helped PageGroup to a record quarter as a whole and pushed it to a record year.
CEO Steve Ingham said profits were surging thanks to booming demand for its services and improved productivity. The rise of interviews done via Zoom and other video conferencing apps means recruiters and hiring managers can crunch through more candidates than before in the same amount of time.
"Productivity is at record levels, up 25% on Q4 2019,” Ingham said. “This is driven by improved trading conditions, a shorter time to hire facilitated by video interviewing, investments in new systems, wage inflation and improvements in fee rates as a result of the high demand and short supply of candidates.”
The company upgraded forecasts for the full-year slightly, saying profits are now likely to be a touch above the £165 million pencilled in by analysts.
Shares rose 5.5p, or 0.9%, to 639.5p.
PageGroup’s strong numbers come just a day after rival Robert Walters said it too had a record quarter to close off 2021.
Head hunters are in demand around the world as employers scramble to fill vacancies. The so-called “great resignation” and a wave of people taking early retirement during the pandemic has led to a shortfall in workers as the world exits lockdowns.
Ingham said: “Looking ahead, there continues to be a high degree of global macro-economic uncertainty as COVID-19 remains a significant issue and restrictions remain in a number of the Group’s markets.
“However, we are maintaining our focus on driving progress towards our long-term strategic goals."