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ONS: Badenoch & Clark reaction

ONS: Badenoch & Clark reaction
Following the release of the national unemployment statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which revealed unemployment decreased during the last quarter, Guy Emmerson, Associate Director at international recruiters Badenoch & Clark, comments:
Across the board, the latest figures reflect the trends we are seeing, however the picture varies significantly from sector to sector. We have witnessed heightened activity across banking and financial services and accounting and finance sectors, whilst a competitive market place remains amongst other sectors such as marketing and communications and legal services.
Across the Public Sector were inevitably seeing widespread uncertainty, although opportunities remain for experienced and skilled candidates. HR professionals, who can assist organisations undergoing transformation, continue to be in demand.
Guy Emmerson continues:  We have seen continuity in job opportunities in specific areas of the NHS.
Key skills remain in demand in the NHS, despite the cost cutting measures that are being employed. The new responsibility that will be created when GPs are handed commissioning power will result in a demand for executive interim support roles.
Primary Care Trusts are procuring external talent to manage key projects while commercial finance professionals are sought by General Practitioners Consortia to help generate revenue.
Guy Emmerson continues: What we are seeing within housing broadly mirrors the ONS unemployment Statistics.
Strong operations and performance managers are in demand, in response to budgets cuts and required efficiencies, who will ensure the house is in order and lead teams through change.
As benefits are cut many tenants are falling behind with their service charges and rent payments, which has boosted recruitment of professionals who can manage this.
Local government
Guy Emmerson continues: In line with the ONS report, we are seeing job opportunities in local government.
Although the future is uncertain for many local government employees, councils are investing in HR and legal professionals to ensure employees have access to accurate and informed advice.
Transformation programmes are being prioritised by councils, so programme managers, PMOs, business analysts and project managers with external private sector experience are sought to support teams.
Guy Emmerson continues: What we are seeing within procurement reflects the ONS unemployment statistics.
Merger & acquisition activity and spending cuts are dominant, so we are seeing an increase in customer facing supply chain roles. Strong stakeholder engagement skills is a key quality employers look for in procurement candidates to enhance internal communication helping cut spending even further.
The number of sales & operations planning (S&OP) and integrated business planning roles is on the rise to drive efficiencies across S&OP.
Accounting & Finance
Guy Emmerson continues: What we are seeing within accounting and finance reflects the ONS unemployment statistics.
 Were definitely seeing a pick up in the number of vacancies for accounting professionals on last year.  There is a clear shift from an emphasis on temporary roles to more permanent positions.
Theres still a demand for interim and contract personnel, but it is geared more towards longer-term project work as organisations see the opportunity to bounce back.  On the permanent side, the emphasis is on slightly more senior roles that demand more commercial acumen.
Guy Emmerson continues:  Our analysis of trends in the banking & finance sector matches the ONS unemployment statistics.
Confidence within the banking & financial services sector is generally translating into greater job opportunities, as volume recruitment returns to the market. Compliance and risk professionals are in more demand than ever, and we have seen their overall net worth increase by 10% this year.
Employees are looking for product controllers, who are in short supply, while equity finance roles are coming back onto the market. We are seeing an increase in management reporting roles as banks prepare budgets and forecasts for the year ahead.
There has been a surge in operational recruitment, with more back office and middle office roles than at the beginning of year. For the last six months, RFP and performance measurement roles have remained a consistently busy area, and we have seen a growth in wealth management and client services roles.
Finance roles are also plentiful, with numerous opportunities in internal audit. Business analysts remain in demand, particularly those with derivatives experience.
Guy Emmerson continues: We are seeing healthy employment in the legal profession.
In private practice, temporary staff are being used to cover transactional corporate and company commercial roles. Increasing work flow is fuelling demand for commercial litigation and dispute resolution across many top 20 firms. The awarding of LSC contracts has also stimulated demand in legal aid firms.
Were seeing more fluidity in the in-house market, with financial services organisations counter offering to retain their best staff, and energy companies seeking to cut costs by bringing legal services in-house.
In the public sector, there is a much better understanding of what a business critical role is now and were seeing some activity in childcare, regulatory and investigation law as a result.
 Marketing and Communications
Guy Emmerson continues: What were seeing within marketing and communications mirrors the ONS unemployment statistics.
 As pay freezes are lifted and projects resurrected, marketing & communications professionals are feeling more confident. Nonetheless, the market remains a tough one.  While there are plenty of opportunities for recruitment, there is little available talent and organisations are showing caution by not increasing salaries in line with jobseeker expectations.
Organisations are particularly focused on employee retention so are considering investment in additional employee benefits. Despite this, there are a number of job opportunities for experienced professionals in both financial and professional services.
We have seen developments in the temporary market, tempting more professionals into contractual work. Digital marketing continues to be busy, with the majority of roles incorporating online marketing, SEO, PPC and website content knowledge.
Guy Emmerson continues: HR teams are proving their value in the current climate as they increasingly align with business objectives. Organisations are seeking to improve their back office functionality, which in turn creates an internal need for HR. 
Employee engagement and retention remain a key focus area, whether due address issues relating to rising market confidence morale due to headcount reductions. We are also seeing organisations recruit further up the value chain, to senior, more strategic roles.
Professional services are very active in terms of new HR hires. These tend to be project-related, focusing on cost reduction and relocation of back office functions. Confidence within the financial services sector continues to fuel demand, specifically for rewards professionals and compensation and benefits professionals.


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