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71% of financial services firms more confident for 2013 Says Randstad Financial

71% of financial services firms more confident for 2013 Says Randstad Financial

•             58% of sector respondents said they will hire more staff in 2013

•             Over one in ten believe this will be significant in scale

Financial services firms believe that 2013 will be a better year for their company than 2012, according to interviews carried out by Randstad Financial & Professional, the specialist recruiter.

Over 200 respondents , from heads of HR to European CFOs across the asset management, investment banking, asset services and insurance industries, were questioned on their hiring intentions and their outlook for 2013.

The main reasons given for the optimistic mood amongst financial services firms included “businesses are innovating and are introducing new revenue streams which adds to the confidence we are feeling”, and “things will be busier due to increasing client demand’.  55% of respondents also pointed to increased headcount in 2012 as a positive indicator for the year ahead.

Hiring Intentions

58% of respondents questioned predicted they would hire more staff in 2013.  As one respondent noted, “we need fresh blood to take us where we want to go.  This hasn’t been possible in the last five years.”  14% expected headcount to rise significantly in 2013 and 44% slightly.  Only a quarter of respondents (25%) saw staff numbers remaining stable and just 17% said they are preparing to cut staff.

36% said they planned to hire more permanent employees than contractors, with one respondent adding, “In recent years, market uncertainty forced us to rely on contractors.  But as confidence returns to the market, these roles will turn into permanent positions.”

Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad Financial & Professional, comments: “The current prognosis is more encouraging than at any point since 2007. Companies are finally reaping the rewards of the internal efficiencies they were compelled to implement post credit-crunch. A rise in demand for their services in the latter part of 2012 suggests a good start to 2013.  Their optimism is filtering through to hiring intentions where the ratio is swinging in favour of a longer-term commitment to permanent hires – another sure sign of confidence.

Challenges to Recruitment

While 41% of respondents remain frustrated with slow sign-offs on headcount budget, 39% of also indicated their recovery could be harmed by a failure to find & lsquo;right’ candidate – with both the skills and the cultural fit required. Anecdotal feedback included: “Training on the product is always provided, so the skill set is less important. It’s the attitude and soft skills of people joining our team that we look for. You can’t teach team fit.”

4% of respondents pointed to unreasonable expectations of candidates, 8% lengthy interview processes internally, 4% strong competition for candidates and 5% the changing needs of their business as barriers to the growth they seek.

Tara Ricks adds: “Finding the elusive & lsquo;right’ candidate is clearly the key to maintaining a healthy City heartbeat. But talented people have become ever more elusive as they continue their long hibernations in their current firms after bunkering down at the start of the credit crunch. Lack of budget and lower salary enticements to move to a competitor have played their part, as have fears over job security. However, should the optimism expressed in our findings come to fruition companies will be able to offer more competitive packages and professionals will become more receptive to them after this year’s bonus season.”


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