The role of a recruiter, and indeed the shape of the recruitment market, is heavily defined by the wider state of the economy as employers adjust their hiring patterns accordingly. Despite business uncertainty, recruitment firms have had something of a renaissance during the pandemic, largely as the UK is in the midst of a labour shortage. A number of factors, including increased inactivity amongst those in their 50s and 60s, reduced access for EU workers affected by post-Brexit labour rules as well as Covid-19 have led to fewer workers being available to fill vacancies. The skills of a recruiter in finding and negotiating with talent has become ever more important. This has in turn been reflected in a resurgence in recruitment firms’ office leasing activity across Central London.
While take-up dipped in 2020, the following year saw a recovery of leasing to 123,146 sq ft, which was 4% above the short-term average. 2021 also saw a return to form in terms of the number of deals carried out by the recruitment sector. There were 38 deals transacted in this period, an increase of 111% on the previous year and 35% above the average.
A strong level of optimism that exists among recruitment firms currently, which is most likely due to the greater necessity of their role, is translating into a greater requirement for space. Take-up looks set to increase further in 2022, as the transaction volume in H1 2022 totals 54,273 sq ft, which is more than that recorded in H1 2021 and just shy of the total recorded for the whole of 2020. What is particularly striking is that the recruitment sector alone took more space than traditional sectors such as the government sector in H1 2022 and only 20% less than the larger telecoms sector.
A shift to more hybrid working patterns impacting space requirements is highlighted in our recent work with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Read about our project with the REC in our recent edition of The Occupier.
Read the full report to find out which part of London has regularly seen the highest number of deals for the recruitment sector since 2014, and what may have caused the changing space requirements over the past couple of years. Click here or hit the download button below to read the full report.