By Maximilian Clarke

Private employment services provide an essential service in facilitating adaptation in the world’s labour markets, boosting growth and creating jobs that wouldn’t otherwise exist, a new report shows.

The report, ‘Adapting to Change’, was produced by Ciett in association with the Boston Consulting Group, and shines the light on the positive role that recruitment agencies across Europe and the rest of the world can play in facilitating adaptation to seasonal, structural and cyclical changes in national labour markets.

The research comes at a time of unprecedented challenges. Globalisation, demographic shifts and ongoing economic uncertainty have led to a volatile new environment in which labour markets are in perpetual motion. This is resulting in high levels of unemployment, persistent skills mismatches and low levels of labour market participation, particularly among younger people.

“The report demonstrates that private employment services create jobs that would not otherwise exist: three-quarters of user organisations do not consider hiring permanent workers as an alternative to agency work,” Commenting on the research, Fred Van Haasteren, Ciett President. “In fact, private employment services reduce structural unemployment — by creating more work opportunities for more people — as well as frictional unemployment by ensuring a better and faster match between supply and demand of work”.

Speaking from the report’s launch event yesterday evening (Monday), Tom Hadley, the REC's Director of Policy and Professional Services and a member the Eurociett Board commented: “It is in everybody’s interests to raise awareness and recognition for the positive role that agency work plays across EU and international labour markets. There are huge opportunities to grow the global agency market. This must involve challenging common misconceptions, finding the right level of regulation and lifting residual barriers that still exist in many countries. Generating the data to support our arguments is part of the journey. In parallel to this we need to continue professionalising the industry so that we continue to build strong advocates amongst the employers and candidates we serve."

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