Revenue and profit at recruitment firm CPL Resources jumped in the year to the end of June, according to results released this morning. The firm saw gross profits rise 16% to €83.2m on the back of a 15% rise in revenue to €522.7m.

CPL Resources' chief financial officer Lorna Conn described the results as "strong" and said they came as the company took advantage of a shift in the type of skills sought by employers. "We continue to see and to harness the shift in workforce preferences," she said. "As a result we have experienced almost 25% growth in our flexible talent division.

Lorna Conn said Ireland is seeing a "strong, buoyant labour" at the minute "characterised by labour and skillset shortages. "We are experts in the field of recruitment and matching the right talent to the right organisation, and I think that is reflected in the set of results that you see this morning," she said. 

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"Flexible talent" is a major category for CPL and goes beyond the traditional concept of "temp worker" to include managed services, temporary and contract recruitment and strategic talent advisory services. Companies seem keen to utilise staff on a more flexible basis, which seems counterintuitive in the context of a skills shortage, which might otherwise have led firms to seek to tie-down whatever talent they could find.

However Ms Conn says this method is attractive to firms as it allows them to adapt their headcount to suit their needs at any given time. "I think it comes back to choice - clients like to have that variable cost component in their cost base," she said. "They like to be able to ramp up and ramp down as the needs of their business requires. It's important to note that, in many of those contracts, the staff are employees of CPL and we place them out on engagements."

Unsurprisingly, CPL is seeing a lot of activity in areas like science, technology, engineering and mathematics - with workers with those skillsets very much in demand. Construction is also facing somewhat of a skills shortage, given the exodus of talent during the crash. Ms Conn said that given the skills shortages that exist in many areas, encouraging female participation in the workforce was now more important than ever.

She also said that Brexit was posing a fresh challenge for the business, which has impacted some of the demand it sees in the British market - but other areas like finance are seeing a surge in demand which has helped to counteract that from a business point of view.

MORNING BRIEFS - Irish-Swiss food group Aryzta plans three new appointments to its board - including the former president of McDonald's USA. The maker of Cuisine De France, which is struggling to turnaround its operations in the US, said Michael Andres will be put forward as a new independent director at its AGM in November. The firm will also propose Green Chile Foods executive chairman Gregory Flack and former Tate & Lyle CFO Tim Lodge.

*** Household wealth hit its highest level on record in the first three months of this year, according to the Central Bank. Household net worth stood at €732.3 billion in the quarter - up almost 1% - and the equivalent of just below €151,000. The increase was largely due to a rise in property values. Meanwhile household debt remained unchanged in the quarter but has fallen by almost 10 percentage points as a proportion of disposable income over the past year.