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Recruitment firm cut headcount by 22% during COVID

While banks have largely resisted making wholesale redundancies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the same cannot be said for recruitment firms serving the banking industry.

Robert Walters, the global diversified recruitment firm announced its fourth quarter results today. It revealed a 24% year-on-year reduction in group net fee income in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a year-on-year 22% cut in headcount. 

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Robert Walters employed 4,027 people globally. By the fourth quarter of 2020, there were only 3,147 of them left. 

Robert Walters didn't mention financial services recruitment specifically, but said market conditions remain "challenging" although demand for staff remained robust across "technology, digital, healthcare, supply chain and logistics."

It's not the only recruitment firm active in the banking space to cut headcount. Michael Page International has laid off around 220 people at its New York office according to a WARN notice filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Some recruitment firms seem to be doing fine, however. Phaidon International, will includes finance recruiters Selby Jennings, has boasted of its profitability in the year to October 31st 2020.

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Photo by Roman Fox on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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