Hays look bullishly to 2022 with surging September quarter
Hays has long been the bellwether of the Australian recruitment sector because their presence is omnipresent across the nation in both temporary and permanent recruitment and, as a public company, they release quarterly and half-yearly trading updates, along with comprehensive annual reports.
The 1 July to 30 September (2022 Q1 for Hays plc) quarterly trading update was released last week and it contained its usual assortment of useful insights within the headline result of a 41% like-for-like (LFL) jump in net fee income.
Hays UK & Ireland and Hays Rest of World matched each other for the greatest improvement compared to the same period last year with a 45% (LFL) net fee income rise. Germany was up 39% (LFL) and Australia & New Zealand improved 34% (LFL). ANZ’s smaller growth was mainly due to the higher base of the Australian temp business that held up strongly as the worst of the pandemic economic impact hit in mid-2020.
Unpacking the ANZ results we discover the following, compared to the same period last year:
- Net perm fees: +95%
- Net temp margin +13%
- Private sector fees: +45%
- Public sector fees: +15%
- Queensland: +42%
- Victoria: +40%
- NSW: +33%
- South Australia +23%
- New Zealand: +58%
- HR: +62%
- IT: +44%
- Office support: +48%
- Accountancy & finance: +38%
- Construction & property: +18%
Hays ANZ consultant headcount increased by 65 to reach 1020, as at 30 September 2021.
This returns the Hays ANZ consultant headcount to the level it was at the end of the equivalent quarter two years ago (30 Sept 2019) although the most recent quarter’s net ANZ fees were down 1% compared to the comparable 2019 quarterly results indicating Hays are quickly scaling up their headcount in anticipation of a cracking 2022.
The most recent quarterly trading update noted:
In calendar year 2021 we have added c.1,200 consultants to the Group. Despite this increased headcount, average productivity per consultant remained at record levels in the quarter.
We expect consultant headcount to increase by a further c.2-4% in Q2 FY22 as we continue to balance adding productive capacity, including in our Strategic Growth Initiatives, with driving strong consultant productivity and profit growth
Hays have cracked the code in being able to add significant headcount without creating a drag on average consultant productivity; a massively under-rated strength of Hays’s.
Also of interest was this:
Hays Talent Solutions (HTS), our large Corporate Accounts business, delivered a record quarter and grew fees by 30% and continues to win market share, with a strong pipeline of opportunities.
This seems to support the anecdotal evidence that in a hiring boom companies simply don’t have the capability or interest to build inhouse recruitment capability, preferring to outsource it altogether.
Hays continues to be at the forefront of labour market trends and matching recruitment services with plenty of upside to come.
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