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Financial Services workers worry about losing jobs less than almost everyone else in UK

In a study of over 2,000 British employees, 23% of those surveyed said they felt worried about losing their jobs. But only 17 % of Financial Services professionals said the same – one of the lowest proportions of any sector. People working in Hospitality were the most secure (13%) with the least secure working in IT (32%).

Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad Financial & Professional, said: “The Financial Services sector is one of the dynamic industries in the country.  Jobs are created quickly to respond to developing demand.  FS professionals and accountants working in banks appreciate that as the economy heats up, the industry’s multinationals move immediately.  That’s boosting confidence.  And as demand for top talent continues to grow, any lingering perceptions of job insecurity will fade further into the past.”

COMPLIANCE & CHANGE MANAGMENT ROLES IN PARTICULAR DEMAND

The findings confirm that, in the last few years, M&A and regulatory activity has led to an increase in demand for risk, compliance and change management skills.  Following sanctions issues, and systems and controls failures, banks are keen to ensure that they create and maintain robust financial crime departments.  Anti-Money Laundering (AML), anti-bribery and corruption (ABC), intelligence, and investigations roles have all been top of the list of hiring priorities for a number of financial institutions.  Firms are also shoring up their Customer Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) functions and 2013 saw some key moves at & lsquo;head of EDD’ and similar levels.  Expertise in Dodd Frank and EMIR are also more and more in demand owing to ongoing changes in regulation.

Tara Ricks said, “With new structures being put into place, there’s been demand  for  at all levels of seniority to join financial crime departments, all the way down from global heads of AML.  Increasing regulations plus further FCA scrutiny is driving demand for compliance professionals.  Base salaries for compliance roles have been increasing rapidly and candidates have been offered sign-on bonuses to tempt them away from existing jobs.  On top of that, employers are not only hiring people who can & lsquo;run the bank’, they also want people who can & lsquo;change the bank’.  We’re seeing higher salaries offered for project managers as well as skills like business and risk analytics. The negative impact on London’s financial services sector of the departure of banking operation roles has been cancelled out by the corresponding upswing in job creation elsewhere in the UK, as vast near-shoring programmes send operations roles to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

In the regions, as in London, newly-qualified business-savvy accountants are also in demand as companies position themselves for the future. There’s a shortage of newly-qualified CIMA / ACA staff in particular.  A newly qualified accountant can expect to receive multiple job offers within weeks, and there is strong demand for part-qualified candidates.  

FORECAST FOR 2014 AND BEYOND

As the market continues to recover, demand for accountancy and finance professionals is set to grow further. In the second half of 2013, there was a significant decrease in the time taken to make hiring decisions. In the candidate-short market expected in 2014, Randstad Financial & Professional says companies who don’t move fast will lose good candidates to more agile competitors. Since 2010, Randstad Financial & Professional placement times reduced on average by 37% from 9.9 weeks in 2010 to 6.2 weeks

Tara Ricks said, “While the downsizing of the past few years has meant extra work and pressure, it has equipped many financial services professionals with new skills as they’ve taken on extra responsibilities. Typically, specialists have taken on generalist duties, while generalists have had to specialise more than they used to. After five years waiting out the downturn, honing skills in leaner organisations, eminently employable finance experts are emerging in the newly buoyant market. They have an impressive tick list of what they’re looking for in their next move and we hear from many of their candidates that career fulfilment has never been more important. The smartest employers are speeding up their processes to make sure they are the ones hovering up the best talent – they’re also prepared to pay a premium to snap up the best candidates and are selling their employer brand right from application stage. Employers who are beginning to miss out on hiring high-flyers need to consider whether they really need two interviews to hire an interim member of staff, or four interviews before they take someone on permanently. If they don’t, they risk losing out on the best talent to more agile competitors.”

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