Staff and supply pain see headhunters Hays benefit but others suffer

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Shortages of staff and supplies are creating winners and losers across the economy as recruiter Hayes sees a boom in business and others like defense firm Qinetiq grapple with shortages.

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Recruiter Hayes saw shares rise today, saying a tight jobs market is prompting huge demand for its services.

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The UK permanent recruitment market is the “hottest” since 2007, Hays’ finance chief declared, with salaries rising by as much as 20% which is now the norm in some sectors.

Paul Venables told the Evening Standard: “For most companies the sheer scale and pace of recovery after the pandemic has been better than they expected.” Hays, which has 11,000 employees globally, of whom 2500 are in the UK, said net charges were up 41% in the first quarter.

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Analysts were expecting 36 per cent growth. Shares of the FTSE 250 company rose 3.91p to 166.21p.

Domino’s today announced plans to hire 8,000 more people across the UK and Ireland, adding to its current 35,000-strong total workforce. The new roles are mainly delivery driver jobs and most are permanent. The hiring spree comes as the firm reported sales of £375.8 million, up 9.8% for the 13 weeks to 26 September.

Chief Executive Dominic Paul said: “Despite well-publicized inflationary pressures and a challenging labor market, our supply chain is delivering excellent results … While we see these pressures continuing through 2022, they have been managed to date. Our success in doing so gives us the confidence to sustain our growth momentum.”

Hedges is benefiting from the tight jobs market, which is causing problems elsewhere. National Express said it was managing to “successfully mitigate the financial impact of the ongoing driver shortage”, but warned it would have to increase driver pay by 5% next year in order to keep staff hanging. Shipping containers and parts are in short supply as well as staff.

Defense contractor Qinetiq saw its stock fall nearly 9% today after it said sourcing parts issues could lead to a write-off of up to £15 million.

Poundland owner Pepco said it was seeing a “significant increase in shipping costs” and added: “The background against which we operate will be challenging for some time.”

All the updates in the corporate world reflect the unusual state of the global economy, facing rising demand in the form of the pandemic.

A mismatch between the supply of goods and workers and the demand for both is causing major problems for some businesses and opportunities for others. The imbalance threatens to lead to rising wage inflation and shortages at Christmas.

US President Joe Biden and UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak have both been forced to reassure citizens this week about the strength of supply chains.


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