Despite the impact Covid-19 has had on recruitment activity, professional interim vacancies fared particularly well throughout the first three months of 2021, with the number of assignments up 75% when compared to the same time in 2020. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector.
Interim vacancies at highest level since before pandemic
The data, provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, reveals that monthly interim professional vacancies in England & Wales are at their highest level since before the pandemic, with the largest firms recruiting for 2,427 new roles in March 2021. This surge in hiring corresponds to a 75% increase in recruitment in quarter one 2021 compared to the same time a year earlier.
APSCo’s data also reveals that hiring levels for interims have been on a steady increase since September 2020 – when 1,662 vacancies were recorded – compared to the pre-pandemic high of 1,445 vacancies in January 2020. Hiring levels continued to rise throughout the latter part of 2020, other than an expected dip over the Christmas period.
Retail and Consumer Goods dominates interim hiring
Looking specifically at interim hiring across different sectors, APSCo’s data revealed that the despite being one of the largest causalities last year, the retail and consumer goods arena lead recruitment activity at the beginning of this year, accounting for 19% of total interim vacancies in quarter one 2021 – a 2.3% rise compared to the same period in 2020. Hiring levels in the banking arena followed, making up 14.3% of total interim vacancies during the first three months of the year.
Across the companies hiring for interims in the first three months of the year, Investment Managers, M&G, topped the employer table with 66 vacancies – 16.1% more compared to 2020. NatWest also fared well with 51 roles in quarter one 2021, already surpassing its total number throughout the whole of last year.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said, “The fact that interim recruitment activity across England & Wales has been rising steadily since the latter months of 2020 is incredibly encouraging and is indicative of employers utilising flexible talent as and when required. While the pandemic is still impacting professional recruitment, the huge rise in interim vacancies in the early months of 2021 demonstrates the significant reliance employers place on this segment of the workforce which can be scaled up or down as demand dictates. As we progress through 2021 we are optimistic that interim recruitment activity will continue to fare well.”