UK M&A Recruitment Review 2022

Posted on August 31, 2022 By

M&A activity in the recruitment industry reached a 10-year high at the start of 2022 with the industry bolstered by the number of job vacancies growing to a record of 1,172,000 in November 2021, according to the ONS, as 1 in 4 workers plan a job change.

Borne from the pandemic, workers quit their jobs due to post-pandemic burnout, changing priorities and the greater number of opportunities that became available.

This has led to a skills shortage when business leaders are looking to accelerate the pace of change within their organisations, particularly following the pandemic and the need for skilled employees in growth areas such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) and technology.

As a result, recruiters have a growing number of open vacancies and there are opportunities for recruitment companies to expand into training or learning and development, solving the supply problem and creating an end-to-end service for their clients.

Adding to this, changes to the recruitment industry have been accelerated by the pandemic and developments that were predicted to take years are happening in months. Recruiters were quick to embrace digitalisation and now virtual interviews have become the standard. As well as the notable cost savings, virtual interviews have provided recruiters with efficiency, allowing for the screening of more candidates in a shorter period of time.

The increasing number of people working from home has also provided opportunity for recruitment firms. With location becoming a thing of the past, recruiters have access to a much wider range of talent and can provide candidates with global opportunities.

Digitalisation has not only helped to improve the recruitment process, but it has also led to a significant increase in deals involving a recruitment platform/software, constituting 25% of deals, up from 14% in 2020.

All these factors have worked to make the recruitment industry an attractive prospect for overseas investors and private equity firms looking to acquire fast growing UK recruitment companies that have a vision for further growth.

Overall, M&A activity in the recruitment industry exceeded expectations in 2021 and has remained buoyant in H1 2022, with deal levels just below the booming levels of H1 2021. Growth looks set to continue throughout the rest of the year as the majority of sectors in the UK are recovering or showing signs of growth. Coupling this with increased digitalisation and the growing number of vacancies for recruitment firms to fill, 2022 promises to be another successful year for M&A in the recruitment sector.

Schedule A Call

Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 /

Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 /

Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / 


Benchmark International is a global M&A firm that provides business owners with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. Benchmark International has handled over $8.25 billion in transaction value across various industries from offices across the world. With decades of M&A experience, Benchmark International’s transaction teams have assisted business owners with achieving their objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses. The firm has also been named the Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor and the #1 Sell-side, Privately Owned M&A Advisor in the World by Pitchbook’s Global League Tables.


UK M&A Recruitment Review 2022



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