After recruitment activity peaked in July, the number of jobs offers made in the Financial Services Sector decreased considerably last month, some recent research has found.
The study was commissioned by city pre-employment screening firm, Powerchex (powerchex.co.uk), which looked at confirmed employment offers made during August 2010. The findings come as news that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits jumped last month. The Office of National Statistics’ figures came as a surprise to many analysts, confounding expectations that improvements in the job market would continue into the autumn.
The Powerchex figures showed that July was the most fruitful month in 2010 so far, marking a peak of 6 months steady improvement in employment opportunities within the Financial Services Sector, and with 66% more job offers made compared to January.
However, recruitment activity fell by around 10% in August, the first month-on-month decrease so far this year. While a small summer lull in recruitment activity is not uncommon, the decline has wrong-footed analysts and has business leaders concerned.
Powerchex MD Alexandra Kelly is an expert in recruitment and recruitment trends. She believes that different industry sectors within Financial Services have come up with different recruitment strategies in an attempt to deal with the current market uncertainty.
“The Financial Services Sector is the heartbeat of the city of London and the UK economy, and so it is disappointing and a little worrying to see such a big decrease in the number of employment offers made, especially as expectations had been more optimistic.
“What we’ve seen over the last 6-8 months is a strong, steady and consistently optimistic approach to recruitment from Insurance and Stockbrokerage firms. For example, Insurers have increased their recruitment intake by an average of roughly 14% each month this year, and this has continued into August, even as overall recruitment activity fell by 10%.
“In contrast,” Kelly continues, “Hedge Funds seem to vary their recruitment strategy depending on the market circumstances with considerable fluctuation in the number of job offers made each month. In August, they made 38% more offers than the previous month, when their recruitment dropped by 25% compared to June. Opportunities for IT contractors within the Financial Services Sector seem to follow similar variation.
“It is important that recruitment professionals do not allow themselves to lose sight of the FSA guidelines to undertake proper and thorough checks on all permanent employees and contract staff, especially for individuals entering senior or sensitive positions,” concludes Kelly.