Recruitment specialists Hays said it is continuing to invest in its IT strategy despite reporting in a trading statement yesterday that it sees no upturn in the recruitment market. Hays said it has continued IT investment throughout the quarter ending June 30, 2009. A single platform is being rolled out to all Hays businesses which it believes will improve the service it can deliver to candidates and clients."This has been another tough quarter with continued reductions in demand across all the 28 countries in which we operate," said Alistair Cox, Hays chief executive.
"Currently, demand continues to weaken in both our temporary and permanent placement business." Cox backed his management team and the headcount reductions they have been making to reduce the cost base of the business and said they would continue to "invest selectively". Hays saw its net fees revenues reduce by 37 per cent in the last quarter and as a result had to reduce its headcount group wide by a further eight per cent, bringing its total redundancy to 26 per cent. Permanent staff fees dropped by 57 per cent and temporary staff fees by 23 per cent. In the UK and Ireland net fees dwindled by 45 per cent, although Hays did report that its public sector business was "resilient".Around the world the Asia Pacific region witnessed a fees revenue drop of 46 per cent and continental Europe a drop of 25 per cent. Rivals Michael Page reported earlier in the week that it is still finding market conditions tough, but is considering hiring more staff in preparation for a return to demand for staff.