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Banks 'reducing numbers of interim staff'

04/06/14

The hiring situation within the banking sector is continuing to change and develop as financial services organisations respond to the changing economic climate. One shift we have observed is the tendency for many banks to reduce the number of interim and temporary staff on their books.

Especially pronounced in 'business-as-usual' finance and accountancy positions, this development could be due to the overall improvement seen in the UK's fiscal stability, meaning banks are happy to bring in staff on permanent deals rather than rely on flexible contracts.

However, it seems clear that the major driver is cost reduction, as banks attempt to reduce their outgoings and operate more efficiently in line with the new regulations and pressure being placed on the sector.

Financial reporting, management information reporting, technical accounting and commercial finance have all registered big drops in the number of temporary staff coming in. Interestingly, programme and change management are still dominated by people on interim contracts, despite the shifts being recorded elsewhere.

This could be good news for people looking for a new role in the sector and hoping for the security of a permanent contract - but what of the existing temps who face a change in circumstances?

Many of them will be offered the choice between having their contracts terminated or signing a new, long-term one.

As this process continues and even becomes more obvious, the landscape of the London financial services sector is set to undergo major changes, potentially bringing the volume of permanent finance and accountancy positions within the capital back to pre-credit crunch levels.

With the macroeconomic situation of the UK looking set to improve steadily - the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recently posited that advanced economies such as Britain's are entering a period of stable growth - this trend appears to be gaining plenty of traction.

How can jobseekers take advantage of this shift and find a new position that appeals to them? After all, there are still a host of talented finance professionals in the UK, especially in London.

"This is a great time to contact the banking recruitment team at Marks Sattin for a confidential career review and market update – perhaps now is the time to make that move," said principal consultant Jamie Carter.

Working with a group of industry recruitment specialists could be a good idea even though the number of jobs available is set to rocket, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, their contacts within the sector mean they are trusted referrers of candidates, which could give you the boost needed to get ahead in what will remain a highly competitive market.

Secondly, despite the volume of new positions opening up, banks remain focused on internal mobility and direct recruitment measures, particularly as these tend to be more cost-effective than other approaches.

Getting the advice and support of expert recruiters will make it easier for you to gain access to positions that could otherwise be held aside for other candidates, while it can never hurt to re-examine your CV and portfolio before taking the step of finding a new role.

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