Hays posted a trading update for its second quarter to 31 December on Thursday, with overall growth described as "solid" at 2%, off the back of underlying growth of 3%, adjusted for working days.
The FTSE 250 firm said that growth was led by further good performances in its international businesses, which now represented 75% of group net fees
It reported good broad-based growth of 8% in Continental Europe & Rest of World, with Germany up 7%, with underlying growth of 11% adjusted for working days.
France grew 14%, which was one of 11 countries to deliver growth of over 10%.
There was good Asia Pacific growth of 7%, as the board delivered further acceleration in Australia to 13%, including private sector growth of 14%.
Net fees in Asia were down 5%, however, as conditions remained tough
The board said net fees in the UK & Ireland were down 10% year-on-year, and broadly sequentially stable through the quarter.
Conditions in the public sector markets remained tough and net fees decreased 13%.
The private sector business was down 9% with early signs of improvement towards the end of the quarter.
Hays said group consultant headcount was up 2% year-on-year and up 1% in the quarter, adding that its first half cash performance was strong, with net cash ending Q2 at £48m, up from £20.2m at the end of September.
"This has been another encouraging quarter of growth, our 15th in a row, led by the continued strength of our International businesses," said CEO Alistair Cox.
"Performance across Continental Europe was broad-based, as nine countries delivered double-digit growth and we saw good performances in both Germany and France, our two largest businesses in Europe.
"In Australia market confidence in the private sector continued to improve and our growth accelerated significantly. In the UK, while conditions remained tough, we saw an improvement in private sector markets in December."
Cox said activity levels at the start of the new year will be important to the group's second half performance and we are monitoring these closely.
"As we ended the first half, conditions remained good in the vast majority of our markets, especially Europe, Australia and the Americas.
"In the UK, public sector markets remain tough, but we see early signs of improvement in the private sector market."