Recruitment’s best performers of 2020

Authored By Carly Fordred

The recruitment industry, like so many others, has endured a lot throughout 2020, facing catastrophic market conditions since the onset of the pandemic.

But through the face of adversity, there are often those that stand out or adapt a new way of working during a time of great change, yielding stronger performance as a result, companies within the recruitment industry whose data reveals they’ve coped better than most.

In the unique setting of 2020, APSCo partnered with Staffing Industry Metrics (SIM), a resource for business intelligence and analysis of the staffing and recruitment industry.

The partnership sought to measure and unveil the companies that achieved improvements in performance (from financial quarter to quarter) or continue to perform at a higher than industry average (through the six months to September).

“Since inception we have been a business with a clear and specific industry focus. Using extensive, successful industry experience, knowledge, and world class technology, we have developed a unique online industry platform,” says Nigel Harse, Director of Staffing Industry Metrics.

The Most Improved of the 2020 Pandemic Award acknowledged the firm that made the best progress in Q3 (July to September) when compared to Q2 (April to June), and Best Performer of the 2020 Pandemic acknowledged the firm that recorded the best performance throughout April to September.

“Participating companies were measured and judged on their performance across 12 key metrics that are relevant to any business, large or small,” says Harse.

The data showed the impact of instantly changed market and working conditions, and revealed the impact of companies’ different strategies to get on top of the conditions. Overall performance and operational efficiencies brought the following companies to the fore:

The finalists for the Most Improved of the Pandemic, sponsored by Staffing Industry Metrics, are:

  • Blueprint Medical, and
  • 1Medical

The finalists for the Best Performer of the Pandemic, sponsored by Staffing Industry Metrics, are:

  • Citrus Group
  • Clarrow, and
  • Whizdom Recruitment

The winners of these two data-driven categories, and all of APSCo’s Awards for Excellence categories, will be announced on November 26 at APSCo Australia’s LinkedIn page.

Where to from here for the recruitment industry?

According to Staffing Industry Metrics (SIM), the pandemic hit 98% of recruitment firms hard and fast, but the tide is now turning, and temp/contract recruitment sales are beginning to soar as state economies open up.

SIM recently reported the positive news based on data from 79 Australian recruitment agencies.

According to SIM’s most recent data, the first half of 2020 saw temp/contract sales sitting below comparative figures for 2019. Steady monthly improvements have been made since February, with temp/contract sales in July nudging slightly ahead of the same period in 2019. August was stronger again, with results exceeding last year's figures by an impressive 20% - and with Christmas fast approaching, the demand for temp/contract recruitment is likely to continue.

The permanent recruitment market, however, has experienced a predictable slump as a result of the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, permanent sales for Q1 of 2020 were already down.

“When work-from-home and remote working restrictions were imposed, sales took an instant 70% hit, plunging to devastating lows. Although we have seen slight monthly improvements, the market remains well down on last year with many firms reporting declines of 40% to 60% on the year to date.”

However, while the figures are grim, the overall outlook is better than expected, says the report. “As with temp/contract sales, we can expect to see continued improvement for permanent (recruitment) as Victoria emerges from lockdown and borders begin to open up.”