The Bond Williams perspective: Insights from the recruitment industry

  21st February 2019       Robert Bond FIRP
 Company News, Recruitment

Last week we received an industry report from Bullhorn that revealed the opinions, insights and concerns of more than 200 UK and Ireland based recruitment professionals. Here, we share some of the findings and the Bond Williams perspective.

More than half of agencies expect revenues to increase 11+%

Compared to 2018, 60% of recruitment agencies expect revenues to rise more than 11% this year, with over a quarter (26%) predicting an increase of more than 25%.

We agree with the positive outlook and like any business in any industry, improving our success is of course a key company objective. We hope to achieve this not by increasing our fees, but by working harder to service more businesses across a range of sectors. We’ve only recently launched a fifth specialist Engineering, Science & Space division as well as open another branch in Oxford.

61% think temporary placements will increase

Just 3% of those surveyed are of the opinion that temporary placements will decrease in 2019, and 17% think they will remain at the same level.

Internally, our temporary division has already seen an increase in both the number of candidates looking for temporary roles and businesses requiring short-term staff. Our feeling is that more candidates are seeking flexible opportunities, which supports other findings in this study on how 19% of agencies feel the shift to non-traditional freelance working models is a challenge to recruitment. Our team doesn’t see this as a challenge, but more of an opportunity.

Business are also increasingly seeing the benefit in using temporary staff across all levels, from junior administrators to cover sickness, holiday and peak business periods to more senior interim finance, HR and project management roles.

58% will increase investment in technology

Digitisation and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is certainly a developing trend in most industries. In the recruitment sector, 80% of professionals think embracing digital transformation to improve operations is a challenge, but 82% think it will have a positive impact. Despite this, only 58% will increase investment in technology.

Hopefully, this is because agencies have already invested in previous financial years, as we have at Bond Williams. Our internal software and systems now provide us with excellent data from which to source and communicate with candidates and clients as well as report on the most effective strategies. We spent a lot of time in research and development to ensure these technologies worked for us and could be adapted to our bespoke needs.

Our opinion, however, is that chatbots and AI assistants for CV matching and shortlisting, for example, will only improve the recruitment process if used correctly and supported by the personal approach and emotional intelligence of a real consultant.

77% think there is a diversity problem in recruitment

This is of course a huge issue for businesses as there is still a danger of being accused of prejudice or discrimination during the recruitment process by shortlisting CVs with the aim of improving workplace diversity.

It’s an issue we try to address regularly with our free events for HR professionals, which feature specialist speakers and subject matter experts discussing topics such as Diversity and Inclusion.

Want more insights from Bond Williams?

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to hear about our latest articles and events or sign up here to be added to our distribution list for business and industry news, including our HR and Accounting & Finance Insights magazines –

Robert Bond FIRP


Rob has a background in Sales and IT recruitment with over 25 years of experience in these sectors. He heads up the IT and Accountancy Divisions of Bond Williams and is also responsible for Bond Williams internal Operations and Finance. Alongside Claire, he is responsible for the overall growth and …

Keep in touch