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Confidence in jobs market is waning, says recruiter Robert Walters – The Times

Robert Walters, the recruitment company, said that the UK’s “volatile political and economic backdrop” was hurting market confidence as it reported a drop in fee income for the third quarter.

The company added that one of its more challenging areas in the UK was recruitment in the technology sector.

Robert Walters, chief executive, said: “The macroeconomic backdrop became more uncertain as the quarter progressed. Nevertheless, job flow remained largely strong, candidate shortages remained acute and wage inflation continued to grow.”

More than 80 per cent of the recruiter’s total fee income is generated outside the UK.

Net fee income in Europe rose 32 per cent to £30.1 million, with strong performances in France, the Netherlands and Spain. The Asia Pacific region experienced a 16 per cent rise in net fee income to £53.6 million, supported by growth in both Japan and Australia.

Alan Bannatyne, the recruiter’s chief financial officer, said that large salary differentials were making it easier for the company to persuade people to move jobs, driving growth for the business. He said that workers dropping out of professional roles during the pandemic, as well as fewer staff receiving training, had resulted in a shortage of qualified candidates.

Analysts at Numis said that the lengthening time taken to hire workers in some of the company’s markets suggested that “some caution is creeping into the recruitment market”.

Robert Walters also announced the appointment of Leslie Van de Walle as non-executive chairman. The non-executive director at HSBC UK will join the board and succeed interim chairwoman Tanith Dodge on November 1.

Shares in the company closed up 0.4 per cent, or 2p, at 492p.

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