The IT and Finance sectors in the UK expect a boom in recruitment during the first half of 2014. Findings published by the leading specialised recruitment consultancy, Robert Half UK, revealed that senior executives plan to increase or maintain existing staff levels over the next six months. This is a hopeful sign for professionals across the financial services industry as well as those employed in the technology and accountancy professions, as these sectors increasingly gain momentum.
The Growth in Financial Services
90% of senior executives in the financial services industry were confident in their company's growth prospects, compared with 75% this time last year.
More than four in ten (41%) senior financial services executives are planning to recruit new permanent, professional-level staff within the next six months, with a further 53% maintaining current levels. When asked for the top three reasons behind planned increases in the number of permanent financial services professionals, nearly two-thirds (63%) cited new projects/ initiatives as their top priority for hiring. This was followed by new market penetration (61%) and product or service expansion (34%).
Hiring within accounting and finance will remain relatively buoyant in the first half of 2014, with more than one in three (36%) CFOs expecting hiring increases and over half (55%) filling vacated positions. The key motivation for hiring for accounting and finance professionals remains rising workloads with new projects/initiatives (71%) leading the charge, followed by new market penetration (55%) and product or service expansion (38%).
Financial Services Executives Plan to Hire in the Following Areas:
Accounting and finance: 72%
Operations support: 69%
Revenue generating: 31%
Skills in Demand
• ACAs from small/mid-sized practices
• Broad accounting experience
• IFRS 9 experience
• Specific product knowledge
Positions in Demand
• Fund and regulatory accountants
• Management information/financial planning and analysis
• Financial accountants
• Newly qualified accountants
• Graduates with 12–18 months’ experience
As for the technology industry, it is evident that more than a quarter (27%) of leaders plan to add new IT positions to their workforce during the first six months of 2014, with six in 10 (63%) filling vacated positions. When asked how confident they are in their own company’s growth prospects in the forthcoming year, a net 75% of executives admitted they were either very or somewhat confident, with a net 76% saying they were confident in the UK’s economic prospects in the forthcoming year.
Looking at the top reason for increasing headcount, over half (54%) of IT executives selected new projects/initiatives as the main reason, followed by product or service expansion (46%) and IT risk and security (39%).
Skills and Positions in Demand
- Developers – predominantly C#, Java
- Data analysts and developers – SQL, SQL Server in big data roles
- Infrastructure analysts and server engineers – Virtualization experience
- VMWare Certified Professionals (VCP)
- IT support analysts – Microsoft Support Certifications (MCSE, MCITP)
- Network engineers – Cisco Certifications (CCNA/CCNP)
- Project managers
- IT security and information risk analysts/managers – CISSP and CISA certified
On the whole, those in the IT and finance sectors undoubtedly have one of the strongest job prospects in the UK job market as financial and IT executives are upbeat in the idea of increasing staffing levels. It seems that demand outweighs supply in particular areas as many firms aspire to attract the market’s most sought-after professionals to meet competition.