Recruiter Hays flags slower hiring activity in UK, U.S.

Oct 13 (Reuters) - British recruitment agency Hays Plc (HAYS.L) said on Thursday client and candidate activity had slowed in some markets, including the UK and the United States, because of macroeconomic uncertainties.

The recruitment industry is facing risks of a slowdown from soaring inflation and sharp economic slowdown after seeing sizzling growth in the last couple of years from increasing wages and high job churn amid intense competition for talent.

"Our forward-looking client and candidate activity levels remain good overall, particularly in Germany and EMEA, but have reduced modestly in a number of other markets," said Chief Executive Alistair Cox, referring to the UK & Ireland, Australia & New Zealand and the United States where activity has slowed.

"This said, our key markets continue to be characterised by acute skill shortages and wage inflation," he added.

Rival PageGroup (PAGE.L) said on Wednesday it had seen a "slight softening" in employer confidence across most markets, leading to some job withdrawals and a hiring slowdown at the end of the third quarter.

Hays, London's biggest publicly listed recruiter, said the weakening of sterling compared to its main trading currencies of the euro and Australian dollar was currently a tailwind to its annual operating profit.

The London-based company, which is largely focused on hiring for white-collar roles, said net fees grew at a slower pace of 19% in its first quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a 36% rise a year earlier.

Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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