HAS, PAGE, RWA: Recruitment stocks to eye amid growing jobs market

May 12, 2022 11:07 AM BST | By Abhishek Sharma
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  • The UK's jobs market has continued to grow even as employers as unable to fill all the vacant posts due to a shortage of candidates.
  • Companies are now offering higher salaries to attract more candidates, according to a new survey.

Even as the wages have failed to catch up with the rising inflation in the UK, the country's job market is booming, setting new records. As per the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of job vacancies in the first three months of 2022 climbed to a new high of 1,288,000. However, despite the huge number of openings, employers are unable to fill them due to the shortage of workers.

According to a new report by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), while the recruitment activity continued to rise in April, the availability of candidates declined for the 14th month in a row. Hiring for both temporary and permanent positions fell to the lowest in about a year.

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UK employers offering higher salaries

Companies are now offering higher starting salaries in a bid to attract more workers and to cope with the shortage of staff, the report said. In its survey of 400 recruitment agencies, it was found that rising competition and the demand for workers have pushed several firms to hike the salary offers for both temporary and permanent staff.

Let us take a look at some recruitment stocks and analyse their investment prospects.

Hays Plc (LON: HAS)

The British multinational company provides recruitment and staffing services for temporary and permanent staff in 32 countries. Last month, the company announced a share buyback programme to repurchase up to £75 million of ordinary shares. In the three months ended 31 March 2022, the company posted an overall growth of 29% in net fees.

With a market capitalisation of £1,946.88 million, the company's shares were trading at GBX 116.00 at 8:09 am GMT+1 on 12 May 2022. Hays' stocks have given a negative return of 29.48% in the last one year to the investors.

PageGroup Plc (LON: PAGE)

The Surrey-headquartered recruitment consultancy is listed on the FTSE 250 index and offers services in the UK and Europe. The company is in the process of finding a successor for Chief Executive Steve Ingham.

Shares of PageGroup were trading at GBX 459.60 at 8:14 am GMT+1 on 12 May 2022, with a market capitalisation of £1,533.34 million. Over the last one year, the company's share price has depreciated by over 20%.

Robert Walters Plc (LON: RWA)

The British recruitment firm offers services for permanent, temporary and contractual employment in different industries. It reported a strong start in the first quarter of 2022, ended 31 March 2022 with the group's net fee income rising to £98.4 million. For the UK, the net fee stood at £17.9 million amid the strong hiring activity.

The company has a market capitalisation of £479.20 million, and its shares were trading at GBX 558.00 on 12 May 2022 at 10:33 am GMT+1. Over the past one year, the share value has dipped by 7.79%.

Note: The above content constitutes a very preliminary observation or view based on market trends and is of limited scope without any in-depth fundamental valuation or technical analysis. Any interest in stocks or sectors should be thoroughly evaluated taking into consideration the associated risks.


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