Hundreds of thousands of financial markets jobs have gone since August 2007 (according to Reuters, 195,700 in new York alone), but firms have been cautiously adding to headcount over the last few months.
Jeffrey Kamada from Here Is The City says: ‘Firms have cut headcount down to the bone and many are simply too under-resourced to capitalise if the markets and the economy pick up. What we have seen in recent months is selective hiring, although there are now signs that firms are shifting the focus again from cost containment to revenue growth – and this will mean taking on additional staff in larger numbers’.
One banker told Here is The City: ‘Talk of the demise of Wall Street and the City has proved to be short-lived. Although it’s not quiet business as usual yet, I know of several bankers (who have all been out of the markets for months) who have been able to get a new job recently. 2009 will end up being a year of bigger bonuses and growing headcount. Firms want to make sure that they are well-placed for any recovery in 2010’.
And financial markets recruitment firms have picked up on the new trend, with several currently in the market for additional staff themselves. One word of warning for recruiters, though – firms are still looking to tap into their own networks when hiring (using internal databases, staff referral schemes and direct advertising). But external recruiters are now confident that the worst is behind us, and are sure it won’t be long before candidates once more become king.”