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Professionals seeking new roles up 59%

"We’ve seen increases from every angle month-on-month, year-on-year for both job opportunities and those seeking new roles" says Hakan Enver, operations director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services. "This is in line with what we predicted last month. With bonus rounds coming to a conclusion at the end of the first quarter, April is typically a month where we see people actively looking for new roles.”

Growth in opportunities has continued to strengthen with a month-on-month increase of 14%. "From a job availability perspective, there has been some replacement, but there is a clear underlying trend of growth", said Enver. 

Yearly figures for job opportunities saw an increase of 17% with those seeking new roles showing a big jump of 59%. 

The upcoming UK elections were the main theme throughout April. Despite jitters within the financial sector about the possible negative effects of a hung parliament, the actual impact on hiring was negligible. “The data shows that in the lead up to the elections hiring was not affected as many had predicted. In actual fact, the data clearly shows the opposite”, said Enver. 

A key theme during the elections and particularly pertinent to the financial sector, is the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. [At time of writing, the UK election results showed that the Conservatives had won a majority vote and will serve another term in parliament.]

“As mentioned last month, most city professionals are against a UK exit from the European Union (EU), whilst remaining supportive of Conservative policies. Now that the Conservatives have regained full control, they are committed to a referendum on the Brexit in 2017. As a result, the debate about the UK remaining as part of the EU will become a major subject of interest for the financial sector.”

In a study published by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) surveyed over 400 financial services executives which found that the financial community is far more supportive of staying in the EU than the general public. With nearly three quarters of the financial executives polled saying they would either “definitely” or “probably” vote to stay in the EU. 

“The majority in the City are clearly in favour of maintaining a relationship with our European counterparts. This is purely from a business perspective provided that the UK has more power and more autonomy running their businesses. Therefore, not necessarily completely dictated by those from abroad”, said Enver.

The results of the CSFI research are in strong contrast to a study conducted by Populus in April, which found that the British electorate deeply divided with 40% saying they wanted to remain in the EU, 39% wanting to leave and 17% undecided.

“The CSFI study appears to support the idea that the UK financial community’s attitude to the EU is based on pragmatism and the fear of the unpredictable ramifications of a Brexit.” Enver continued, “By completely breaking from the reigns of the EU, there could be a longer term impact to business in the UK. Not only would it create a  threat of jeopardising the trading alliances with the eurozone, but also the UK’s alliances with the US and the Middle East would be thrown into question. Equally, if the UK was to successfully renegotiate terms, there would be a considerable cost to the EU as a whole.”

The UK currently makes up over 10% of the total EU population. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2013, the net figures (which take into account the UK’s rebate) showed the UK’s overall contribution standing at a mammoth &pound11.3 billion to the EU.

As the number of jobs on offer continues to grow, there has been an increased focus on graduate hiring. Morgan McKinley conducted a study of 157 hiring managers to discuss the effects that the financial crisis had on hiring and their views on the current challenges they face.

The study found that 53% of companies felt no impact on their graduate hiring as a result of the financial crisis, with 9% even increasing hiring. In the current market 50% of respondents said the financial crisis no longer had any impact on their graduate hiring. 

“There has been much discussion around the negative impact of the financial crisis on graduate hiring, but our data doesn’t support this. Exactly half said that it impacted their graduate hiring” explains Enver. ”If anything, it shows the UK finance sector as being resilient, even in the midst of a historical crisis.”

The future is also looking positive for graduates with a combined 68% of respondents stating that the biggest current challenges are a skills gap shortage (47%) and lack of future talent (21%). 

The average salary change registered in April 2015 was 19%. “With improved confidence, there’s still a trend to expect a far greater salary increase when moving roles and thus it is a major contributing factor to people looking for new opportunities”, said Enver.

Financial services jobs new to the market April & lsquo;15


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