Recruiter Hays reports a record first quarter performance amid worldwide skills shortages

Recruiter Hays has hailed a record first quarter performance amid an ongoing shortage of skills worldwide and rising wages to tackle soaring inflation.

The group posted a 32% surge in like-for-like fees over the first three months of the year, with record-breaking results across 19 countries and its highest-ever monthly fees seen in March.

Fees in the UK and Ireland rose 29%, it added.

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But it said the closure early last month of its offices in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine will result in about £5 million in one-off costs.

Recruiter Hays has hailed a record first quarter performance amid an ongoing shortage of skills worldwide.

The sites across Moscow and St Petersburg accounted in half-year results for around £5.9 million in group fees and around 1% or £800,000 of company earnings.

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It said guidance remains for full-year operating profits of £210 million to £215 million, excluding the Russia hit.

Alistair Cox, chief executive of Hays, said: “While we are mindful of increased macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties, client and candidate confidence remains strong, with continued skill shortages and rising wage inflation globally.”