London Employment Monitor August 12 highlights:

  • The Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor showed a 5% month-on-month rise in financial services job opportunities in August 12
  • Compared to the same month of last year, this was a drop of 34% in job availability
  • The number of professionals looking for new financial services roles fell by 9% from July 12 to August 12
  • There was a 58% decrease in the number of professionals in the jobs market from August 11 to August 12
  • The average salary for those securing new roles in August 12 rose 21% compared to average pay for those starting new jobs the previous month.

Surprising increase in job opportunities
The Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor recorded a 5% increase in job opportunities coming onto the market, rising from 2,583 in July 12 to reach 2,709 in August 12. However, compared to August 11, this was a decrease of 34% from 4,095.
The number of professionals entering the hiring market in August 12 continued to fall with a drop of 9% from 4,750 down to 4,315. In comparison to August 11 there was a 58% decrease from 10,291 down to 4,315– the lowest number of job seekers across the City hiring market since January 2004.

Hakan Enver, Head of Permanent Recruitment, Morgan McKinley Financial Services commented:

“It is a surprise to see a 5% uplift in jobs in August 12. With many people traditionally taking holiday at some point during this month, it is typically the quietest time of the year for hiring in most industry sectors. In addition this year, we had anticipated that the London 2012 Olympics would cause some disruption to the work environment with many London businesses setting contingency plans for staff to work flexible hours or from home. In reality, the expected disruption hasn’t been an issue and there were actually a larger number of jobs being released by employers earlier in August 12 whilst the Olympic Games took place, compared to the latter half.

“Looking at where the demand is coming from, there has been little variation: professionals with a regulatory bias, namely those in risk, compliance and audit are still in demand more than other skill sets. There has also been a noticeable increase in the release of back office roles, with a particular concentration on risk and control; again the stricter regulatory stance being set by relevant bodies being a result of this. For similar reasons, the change management teams also continue to show demand for finance professionals across financial control and finance IT projects.

“This is the first time in three years that we have actually seen job opportunities rise at this time of year, however looking at the bigger picture our data also shows job volumes remaining significantly lower (34%) than August 11. This illustrates that there is still a limited appetite for hiring. Many of the issues that we have previously mentioned are ongoing; the eurozone concerns, the double dip recession as well as overall reductions in trading flows. These are all yet to be resolved and therefore, banks’ focus on cost control continues. Employers are relying on internal mobility programmes along with reward incentives for employee referrals as an alternative to the more typical pattern of hiring through recruitment consultancies.”

Average compensation rises once more and professional jobs seeker numbers drop
The average salary rate for those securing new roles in August 12 rose by 21% from £46,800 in July 12 to £56,854. This follows several months of gently rising and falling compensation levels, and is the highest level of salary for new joiners than in any other month during 2012.

Hakan Enver continues:

“Compensation levels in financial services have fluctuated up and down fairly evenly over the course of the last year. One factor which may have contributed to this 21% rise in salary level in August 12 is the trend towards more intermediate and senior level roles being filled across the sector. Where a job role is business critical, it tends to be the case that relevant experience is necessary in finding the right person. Often a premium is required to attract that individual across to a competitor.

“Also, financial institutions are more forthcoming in ‘counter-offers’ for those looking to move –it is more cost effective for employers to hold on to existing staff rather than going through the hiring process and incurring further costs.
“With job opportunities looking more positive than usual at this time of year and salary levels having risen, it may seem strange to see professional job seeker numbers falling away in August 12 to the lowest level that we have seen since January 2004.

However, despite the Olympics Games having little impact on job availability, job seeking does seem to have been affected. In addition, professionals showed hesitancy to move jobs due to the possibility of further headcount reductions this year; nobody wants to be ‘last in, first out’. At the moment, we see more people who are passive rather than active seekers in the hiring market, but this will change as some normality returns to the market once the summer period ends.”