How hard is it really to find a job now?

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Front office hiring has shut down. It is defunct, kaput, left for dead in the long grass. Depending upon who you speak to, next year will either be a lot better, or far worse.

"Everyone's quietly optimistic that there will be a lot more hiring next year," says a search consultant specializing in equity derivatives at one large headhunting firm. "A lot of people have been hired over the past two years who just haven't delivered. They are going to be let go to make way for upgrading."

On the other hand, Jason Kennedy, head of the equity-focused financial services recruitment firm Kennedy Associates is loudly pessimistic. "Next year will be bad," he says. "There may be some upgrades, but I don't see any additional hiring happening at all. Recruitment is going to fall to 10% of the normal volume because banks are still massively overstaffed. It's like they're running a car showroom that needs 5 salespeople but you currently have 8 people. Hiring can't happen until this has been addressed."

If you're out of the market looking in, trying to catch someone's attention, this can make life hard. Witness comments left on articles on this site recently, such as:

"I've been out of work for sometime and can't even get interviews. Today I was rejected [for a job] which matched my specification, only thing I can think of is that I might be over qualified. I'm now at the stage where it's looking very bleak.

Or:

Fighting despair is a daily battle and I'm with ya my friend. I'm even thinking of doing home based day trading.

And:

I have been looking since May and have had 3 interviews since and cant get an assistant role anywhere in the country, it's very difficult.

At the same time, however, middle office recruiters such as Astbury Marsden have been complaining of candidate shortages in areas such as risk and IT.

Is this really true? If you have any comments to make on your experience of the financial services recruitment market now, please leave them below.

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