53 percent of recruiters feel that a lack of quality candidates and increased administration pressures are the biggest challenges to growth that the recruitment industry will experience in 2015.

According to their quarterly industry survey, recruitment software developer Mercury xRM found that further competition, staff retention and a lack of clients are also considered to be potential challenges this year.

Despite these challenges, recruiters say that the future of the industry is bright, with 73 percent of UK recruiters ending 2014 busier than they were in 2013. Additionally, only five percent of recruiters think that 2014 was a bad year for business.

Mark Britton, marketing manager at Mercury xRM, said:

“It’s great recruiters are finding themselves busier than they were last year. While there are a number of issues that need to be overcome in order for recruitment companies to continue to grow their sales throughout 2015, it is encouraging that our barometer shows high levels of optimism, within the recruitment industry.”

The results have come from a straw poll of Mercury xRM’s own internal recruitment network. Recruiters attending last year’s Recruitment Live exhibition were also surveyed.

The statistics come at a pivotal point for the recruitment industry after it was revealed late last year that UK unemployment levels again fell throughout the final quarter of 2014. This is further coupled with a number of UK industries reporting a significant decrease in the number of skilled applicants applying for vacancies.

This downward trend in skilled applicants is generating tougher competition for the highest quality staff and turning businesses towards specialist recruitment agencies, best placed to fill highly skilled vacancies.

Britton added:

“Although the outlook is positive it is now vital that recruiters work towards overcoming potential sales barriers. The skills shortage will undoubtedly continue this year and will affect a number of industries across the UK, forcing recruitment agencies to review their specialisms. Whatever happens this year, it will be the forward thinking agencies who adopt the latest technologies who continue to attract the highest calibre of candidates and clients”