Recruitment agency Hays says slump blip due to Irish Water
Recruitment giant Hays said Irish sales held steady once a one-off bonanza linked to Irish Water was excluded.
Sales slumped by 11pc in the first quarter of this year compared to same quarter last year.
The company, which places workers in areas such as finance, construction and IT, said it expected second-half operating profit to be slightly ahead of its first half level of £81.5m (€112.5m).
Hays employs almost 9,000 staff in 33 countries, including about 100 in Ireland.
Across the group it said net fees increased by 8pc on a like- for-like basis. Net fees in the UK and Ireland also increased by 8pc. The UK and Ireland accounts for 36pc of group fees.
Although Hays does not break down revenue for its Irish operations, the company said that net fees in Ireland were down by 11pc. A spokeswoman for Hays Ireland told the Irish Independent that this was mostly due to a large one-off project conducted for Irish Water for approximately a year to the start of May 2014.
She added that if the once-off payment was excluded Hay Ireland net fees were up 15pc.
The company was one of seven different firms that assisted the controversial utility in recruiting 443 employees as it was being established.
Irish Water has previously said that recruitment on such a large scale was necessary as the timeframe in the establishment of the utility "did not allow for the establishment" of a HR department.
It said using agencies was the most logical solution and "also offered best value for money".
Of the firms contracted by Irish Water, Hays received the largest payout for its work on the project, netting €891,588 of the total agency spend of just over €2.6m.