Recruitment firm Robert Walters cuts 220 jobs as hiring slows globally

By Staff

Recruitment firm Robert Walters has axed 220 jobs amid a slowdown in global hiring.

The London-listed company said it has reduced its total staff headcount to 3,980 from 4,200 at the end of September.

Robert Walters told shareholders on Thursday it has been impacted by “continued challenging macro-economic conditions across many” of its markets.

Many firms have sharply reduced their hiring activity in recent months following increases to interest rates and wage inflation.

Rival recruiter Hays confirmed last week that it cut its workforce by around 600 roles worldwide to reduce costs due to the slowdown.

Robert Walters said its net fee income dropped by 13% to £91.4 million across the group over the final three months of 2023, compared with the same period last year.

It saw income drop 15% in Asia-Pacific, the company’s largest market, with a stronger performance in Japan helping to offset weakness in other markets.

It highlighted particularly “muted” conditions in Australia, where income was down 27%.

The firm also revealed that UK income slipped by 19% to £13.8 million for the quarter, as it highlighted a weaker performance in London compared to the regions. The group has UK offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bracknell, Milton Keynes and St Albans.

Chief executive Toby Fowlston said: “Despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions, the group has delivered a resilient fourth quarter, and full-year 2023 profit before tax will be in line with market expectations.

“I am very proud of our people and how we continue to work through this period of market uncertainty.

“We remain confident in the long-term structural drivers that underpin demand for our services.

“Our ongoing focus on productivity, our management of costs, and commitment to retaining core consultant capacity positions us well to capitalise on growth opportunities when conditions improve.”

The company said it is still on track to deliver a profit for 2023 in line with market expectations. Shares moved 3.8% higher in early trading as a result.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *