Better Practice Sees Financial Sector Back on Track

The financial sector is bolstering back to life following the recession and global banking crisis. Although the sector is yet to see its recruitment return to pre-recession levels, the growth of confidence in the UK financial sector has seen recruiters bracing themselves for a growth in new recruits at all levels over the coming year.

Graduate Director at Total Jobs Mike Fetters told Choralis:

“Overall confidence in UK markets is growing and recruitment always follows”

He pointed out that the engineering and manufacturing industries have been pretty consistent due to demand, but the banking crisis meant that it wasn’t smooth sailing for the financial sector during the recession – though that looks set to change over the next year.

As part of its finance focus month, Total Jobs held a Google Hangout featuring a panel of experts from the recruitment and financial industries. HR Magazine journalist Tom Newcombe shared data from the PWC pointing out that the finance sector was recovering at a steady pace, but emphasised that further growth and any sustained recovery would be dependent on stringent regulation.

Regulation and visible overhauls in the banking and finance sectors are important on for many reasons. First, public confidence. Although the sector’s prosperity is improving, consumers have been less forgiving of the repercussions of the crisis – the consequences did after all impact wider society. One such group is the Move Your Money lobbying group, who this week have been calling to the public to change the groups they bank with based on ethical practices and values in a push for more honest banking practices. In some ways the sector is keen to show that it is listening – it’s important not just for investor confidence, but also for recruitment.

Newer graduates coming into the sector who saw the industry falling apart whilst they were studying, in part due to a lack of regulation, are keen to seek employment from groups who have demonstrated a commitment to ethical banking practices.  There is a great deal more caution being demonstrated by jobseekers and recruiters alike in the sector, as both sides are keen to see an industry reforming itself.

Jane Clark, Barclays Director of Campus Recruitment, who also took part in the panel, confirmed this view. Stating that not only did graduates hope to work in a better banking sector, but the banking sector hopes, through reforms to recruitment, to hire people that can take those wider cultural reforms forward. Jane pointed out that a key new part of the selection criteria for candidates was about assessing the “moral compass” of recruits-  and that the sectors taking in the biggest number of candidates were focused in the fields of legal capabilities and compliance, areas focused on ensuring that regulations are adhered to. New recruits are also being inducted and trained from the offset into a new work culture promoting values, purpose and a stronger focus on responsible banking.

The latest monthly insightful from recruitment specialists Badenoch & Clark reveals that the financial sector has seen vacancies increase by 30.7% year on year, and that the majority of vacancies in the sector are for reporting roles, especially for those who have experience in regulatory reporting, and roles based on managing information. Vacancies for counteracting financial crime are also on the increase, as groups of all sizes look to tidy up their processes, terms, accuracy and decisions made at management level.

Continuing in the vein of an article on employment levels featured in Choralis at the start of the year, figures released last month by the ONS revealed that employment prospects continue to improve for the UK. And with recent news and expert comment, is doesn’t seem overly optimistic to presume that there is hope on horizon for the financial sector too, especially over the next 12 months.

Written by J McCaffrey

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