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Recent data has shown that contract roles have fared particularly well during the first three months of 2021, with the number of vacancies up 75% compared to the previous year.

The research, compiled by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) using data provided by Vacancysoft, found that hiring levels for interims have been on a steady increase since September 2020 – when 1,662 vacancies were recorded – compared to the pre-pandemic high of 1,445 vacancies in January 2020.

Interestingly, despite being one of the largest causalities during the pandemic, the retail and consumer goods sector led recruitment activity at the beginning of this year, accounting for 19% of total interim vacancies in quarter one 2021 – this is a 2.3 per cent rise compared to the same period in 2020.

Hiring levels in the banking sector followed, making up 14.3% of total interim vacancies during the first three months of the year.

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Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented on the findings, “The fact that interim recruitment activity across England & Wales has been rising steadily since the latter months of 2020 is incredibly encouraging and is indicative of employers utilising flexible talent as and when required.

“While the pandemic is still impacting professional recruitment, the huge rise in interim vacancies in the early months of 2021 demonstrates the significant reliance employers place on this segment of the workforce which can be scaled up or down as demand dictates. As we progress through 2021 we are optimistic that interim recruitment activity will continue to fare well.”

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