Banking recruiter Q&A: "On a scale of 1-10, I am at 7 for optimism regarding 2014"

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What will happen to banking recruiting in 2014? Will there be any new financial services jobs? Will any banks in the City of London really be hiring? Will they only be hiring for front office roles? We asked Peter Milne, managing director of financial services recruitment at Robert Walters all these questions and more. This is what he said....

1.  On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the best, how optimistic are you about banking recruitment in London in 2014?

We’re cautiously optimistic, so we’d say about 7 out of 10. We’ve seen more appetite for IPOs and investment capacity has gone up. At the same time, regulatory scrutiny has increased, so altogether we’re expecting this to have a significant impact on hiring levels.

2.  Which sectors do you think banks will be doing the most hiring for in 2014?

The growing burden of regulation means we expect more demand for compliance experts. Banks will also have to prepare and explain to staff what this shifting regulatory framework means to them, pushing up demand for change management experts.

3.  Where will the areas of candidate shortages be?

Experienced compliance professionals are heavily sought after, with demand outstripping supply.

4. What's stopping finance candidates switching jobs now?

A key reason is the prospect of a bonus in early 2014, which many candidates are unwilling to lose by moving to a new employer. To counter this, we have increasingly seen banks prepared to match bonus expectations in order to secure top talent ahead of the post-bonus hiring season.

5.  What's the main reason candidates are prepared to move?

Savvy candidates will be looking to move ahead of the post-bonus rush, taking advantage of the fact that they will be up against fewer competitors for each vacant position. Put simply, moving early will stand them a better chance of moving up the career ladder.

6.  Is it true that banks are hiring later and later in the year? Should candidates defer their job search until April?

A revival of confidence in the banking sector has had a positive knock-on effect on hiring activity. Once we would have seen two key hiring periods; one from the end of Q1 to the beginning of the summer, and another from the end of the summer up until November. Now we are seeing banks hiring from Q1 right throughout the summer.

As mentioned before, growing demand for experienced professionals means that banks are now considering matching expected bonuses to steal a march on their rivals. This means it may not always be sensible for candidates to wait until spring before commencing a job search, so our advice is to plan ahead and seek guidance on your options now.



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