Front office recruitment has become a communal act of extreme bravery
In order to get hired into a front office position over the next six months, you will need two things. 1) To be perfect for the role you're applying for. 2) The support of a courageous group of people who are prepared to make the case for hiring you at the highest possible levels of the organisation you fancy working for.
With revenues in sales and trading areas looking deeply uncertain, enthusiasm for hiring has dissipated. There are freezes. Where there aren't freezes, there is fright. And obfuscation. And a need for handholding and reassurance.
"A lot of people in equities are trying to take the pressure off themselves," says Oliver Rolfe, managing director at search firm the Spartan Partnership. "No one wants to be the one to make the final decision about a new hire. People will say they think they've found the right person, but the decision to recruit goes all the way to the top.
"Even junior positions have to be signed off by the top board," he adds.
"It's like hiring by committee," confirms David Reynolds at search firm Scott Reynolds. "There's a lot more 360 degree recruitment where everyone gets involved. Hiring managers don't want to be the ones who put their heads above the parapet and get shot down."
The one thing that will get you hired into a front office position in the months to come is client support. In most cases, hiring firms will approach your clients to ascertain whether you're any good. If those clients won't testify to the emission of solar rays from your nether regions, no one will risk recruiting you.
"If you don't have strong client relationships with clients willing to back you when asked for a recommendation, it's going to be a lot harder to place you," Rolfe informs us.