Worldwide, an estimated 3.5 million recruiters - and 5 other notable figures

Today is International Recruiter’s Day. It’s time to spotlight the profession of recruiters, using 6 striking figures and developments.

Peter Boerman on April 11, 2024 Average reading time: 4 min
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Worldwide, an estimated 3.5 million recruiters - and 5 other notable figures

We sometimes take it for granted, or may even feel the need to defend the fact that we are recruiters. In short: the recruitment profession isn’t always viewed positively. It’s time to also occasionally celebrate its blessings, as has been done since 2011 with the so-called International Recruiter’s Day, an initiative originally from the UK, intended to highlight the skills, dedication, and professionalism of recruiters worldwide. Interesting research always seems to surface around such a day. What does this reveal about recruiters in terms of figures and insights?

1. There are 3.5 million worldwide

According to the organizers of the day, behind whom stand Firefish Software, the CIPD, UK Recruiter, and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation REC, there are currently 2,530,000 profiles on LinkedIn with the term ‘Recruiter’ in their job description. Based on this, they estimate that there are about 3.5 million recruiters active worldwide (not all of whom can be found on LinkedIn). In 2020, there were only about 1.8 million people who had the term ‘recruiter’ somewhere in their job title on LinkedIn.

2. There are 140,000 in Europe

The well-known recruiter Jan Tegze recently conducted a more thorough count. He stated that recruiters are still crucial for identifying skilled candidates and bringing them on board to contribute to organizational success. However, he also noted that the number of recruiters in Europe is slightly declining. Where he came to a count of 150,000 in 2021, he now (at least, in 2023) estimates there are 140,000.

LinkedIn shows nearly 1 million profiles for recruiter roles, nearly 60,000 more than in 2021.

According to his – stricter – count, LinkedIn shows nearly 1 million profiles for recruiter roles, nearly 60,000 more than in 2021. ‘The recruitment and selection industry thus shows resilience,’ he concludes, although he adds that the number of recruiters looking for another job has roughly doubled in 2 years. With 140,000 recruiters, Europe is relatively small: Asia (370,000) and North America (430,000) have many more LinkedIn profiles with the job title ‘recruiter’ included somewhere.

3. A lot of money is involved

It may be obvious, but it is clear that a lot of money flows through the recruitment industry. The total global staffing and recruitment industry represents a value of nearly $700 billion, and that is expected to grow to $1.8 trillion (!) by 2030, according to analysts from The Insight Partners. Statista, however, reports a global turnover of about $650 billion, of which agencies account for about 75%.

4. But now under pressure

The recruitment industry is currently under pressure worldwide. In the Netherlands, the greatest shortage is over, it seems, and more or less the same is true for the United Kingdom, for example. According to the most recent UK Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG, economic uncertainty in the country is leading to a declining demand for employees, which is also reflected in the demand for recruiters and temporary work.

5. About 1.5% of the total economy

It might require some creative calculation, but it’s not entirely absurd to state that the total recruitment industry accounts for about 1.5% of the economy. A report on the British industry, for example, shows an added value of 41.3 billion pounds (nearly 50 million euros). If we then compare how the British economy relates to the Dutch, a figure of 16 billion would result for all Dutch recruiters and temporary work agencies. This would mean that for every euro circulating in the Dutch economy, one and a half cents go to the recruitment industry.

Recruitment is becoming an increasingly important industry in the total economy.

Today is the international day of the recruiter. It’s time to spotlight the profession of recruiters, using 8 figures. According to the British report, the industry grew between 2021 and 2022 by no less than 5.9%, a substantially higher growth rate than that of the total economy. Recruitment is thus becoming an increasingly important industry.

Today is International Recruiter Day. Time to put the job of recruiters in the spotlight, using 8 figures.

6. About 20,000 agencies in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are an estimated 20,000 agencies active in the recruitment, temporary work, and secondment industries. In Great Britain, there are about 30,000 recruitment agencies, about 6.5% more than the previous year, and providing employment to more than 200,000 people (nearly 80% of whom are active in organizations with fewer than 10 employees). Of all these agencies, only one in six was also active in 2008; the rest are newer. Despite the currently somewhat challenging times, a steady further growth is expected in the coming years.




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Peter Boerman

Peter Boerman

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