11th Sep 2009
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Financial Recruitment News Summary 11 September 2009

This week's recruitment news was dominated by high profile and largely positive surveys and reports covering the job market. Kevin Green, the Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation appeared widely across the media to explain that employers appear to be moving towards "becoming more confident" in their recruitment decisions. The REC and KPMG jointly published the September Report which confirmed the appearance of signs of recovery in the job market.

The report, drawn up by financial information services company Markit, records a very slight return to growth in permanent and temporary recruitment during August, this being the first growth in the former for 17 months and in the latter since July 2008. At the same time, the rate at which demand for staff declined was the slowest in over 12 months. Full report available via subscription at

Whilst recruitment consultants revealed that pay continued to decrease in August, one positive indicator was that these reductions were slower than at any other time in the previous ten months.

Similarly, whilst candidate availability continued its strong upward trend, the rate of this upwards movement was weaker than it has been for one year.

Kevin Green and Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, signalled very cautious optimism on the findings of this report. However, Brown pointed to significant economic pressure on public sector costs as one factor that could "have a significant impact on the UK jobs market."

The findings of the REC report were underlined by Antal - Global Snapshot - September/October 2009 which pointed to improvements in worldwide job prospects, with global hiring up to 50% from a figure of 46% in the spring.

Manpower has also published a detailed global survey. Manpower Global Outlook Survey Q42009 forecasts a challenging end to this year for the labour market, but with some cause for optimism. In the UK, Manpower reports hiring confidence improving in the Public and Social sectors, alongside Utilities and, for the first time in over 15 months, Financial and Business Services.

Monster's Employment Index (UK) was reported in the Recruiter as recording online job availability to be static, having changed very little for the fifth consecutive month. Some sectors did show increased demand: banking, finance and insurance recruitment showed increased demand along with the administration and organisation sector, as did marketing, PR and media.

The financial recruitment sector suffered a blow this week with the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Finance Sector Inquiry revealing that women receive as much as 80% less in bonus payments in leading finance companies. Despite making up 51% of the workforce in the financial sector (2003-8), women earn 55% less in annual gross salary than their male counterparts. In the economy as a whole, the disparity is 28%.

UK recruiter Hays reported that its decline in profits had slowed. Alistair Cox, Chief Executive, stated that "For last three months it's been quite stable in a number of sectors in the UK but it's too early to call a recovery.

"We're seeing some early signs of life in UK financial services with organisations starting to hire again in areas such as risk, compliance and insurance, while banks are taking on more front office and operational staff

The Hydrogen Group, which boats a significant presence in financial services and commerce and industry recruitment, released its latest interim report this week, recording satisfactory results in a very difficult market. Chief Executive Tim Smeaton commented that "whilst the start of the second half of 2009 has seen a modest improvement in some sectors compared with the first half, we are still understandably cautious and believe the market will continue to be challenging for the remainder of the year."

Accountancy recruiter RK Accountancy this week launched its new branding, after a 6 month project. Despite battling the downturn like many other financial recruitment organisations, RK's Managing Director Paul Waite commented that "at a time when our competitors are contracting and moving out of geographies, we remain resolute and are investing in the brand." The rebrand was overseen by Robert Woodford, Head of Marketing for parent company the Kellan Group. Woodford added that "RK Accountancy provides a real business advantage over the larger low-cost, higher volume financial recruitment companies."

Brewer Morris, global tax recruitment specialists, this week appointed Tom Wilkinson as Associate Director to the in-house tax recruitment division. Having studied accounting and finance at the University of Birmingham, Wilkinson arrives at Brewer Morris with over four years' experience with Michael Page and Pure Taxation.


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