The current hiring landscape in Finance

Joanna Huang 27.05.2020

Many companies have been badly hit by COVID-19 and it has resulted in many staff being put on a furlough scheme or made redundant. Therefore, job vacancies have dropped by 40%.

I have been speaking to several clients and most of them have decided to freeze their hiring or hire only for specific roles required by the business, with a limited budget.


Having also spoken to candidates, many have decided to either put their job search on hold or they have left their role prior to the crisis and are actively looking for new roles in a tough climate. 


But for those who are seeking their next role, what’s next?  


To answer that, we first need to know what the government’s response has been...


To a certain extent, the government has been encouraging many companies to hold off on their reduction in manpower by fully utilising the furlough scheme, which was introduced in April and has recently been extended to run until October 2020.


Of course – there is some level of limitation to the furlough scheme as it only covers up to 80% of your salary and is capped at £2,500. How about those individuals who are on a higher salary range, what happens to them? As I spoke to several job seekers, it seemed like they have taken a huge pay cut, or they have been laid off, which is an unfortunate event during the current situation.


Additionally, the Bank of England has made the decision to loan a large sum of money to the government and bigger companies during this difficult time which is a good initiative that can help to stabilise at least 30% of the economy in the UK. 


However, how does that help those job seekers who are looking for roles? 


As I recruit finance talent, my focus will be to elaborate on the hiring landscape in London specifically for those in the financial services sector. 


What roles are still available and why? 


1) Financial Reporting Accountants


This is an important aspect in which the firms require an individual to perform a certain level of technical support with analysing the financial statements, especially in recent years on the IFRS 9 which is a system to identify any default in banks or financial services. These accountants will then ensure that the accounting report needs to be done by an individual with a strong understanding of financial reporting for the management to review and sign off. 


Hence, there has been a spike in hiring mainly within financial technology, banking as well as commodity firms. 


2) Financial Analyst 


We’ve seen incremental hiring across London where Financial Analyst becomes an important aspect to the business– as many financial services firms continue to grow their finance teams, they will need an individual with strong excel and programming skills to help analyse certain financial data.


Therefore, many companies who invested in multi-asset strategy would have diversified their investment, which in turn, can be a growth in the business even through this COVID-19 situation. Most of the companies would tend to hire individuals with at least four years of post-qualified experience and most of them will have experience working in a Big 4 audit firm before moving into a financial analyst role as they will have gained external audit exposure in different companies. 


3) Newly Qualified Group Accountants


Many people would think that newly qualified accountants are not as important in current hiring conditions however, this could not be further from the truth. The role is an important hire because group accountants will be preparing the accounts, cash flows, tax filing, journal entries to reconcile the profit and loss that many companies are going through during the current crisis. They will need a strong accountant to ensure the books are all accurate. 


Advice to all jobseekers


I will highly advise job seekers to be proactively updating their CV – meaning that they will have to tidy up their CV, mention key highlights of their experience and achievements as well as to mention their software skills – excel proficiency or experience in SAP. While doing up their CV, they can seek advice by speaking to their respective recruiters on the roles they are applying for. In addition to that, they can also find out how the market is as most recruiters will get information of how their clients are doing, which would then be useful information for you! 


Aside from speaking to recruiters, constantly update your LinkedIn profile to make sure it is visible to recruiters. Alternatively, you should speak to your peers who may know a specialist recruiter who could help with your job search


If you are currently looking for an opportunity within finance or looking to hire individual with the sets of skills, feel free to reach out to me at joannahuang@morganmckinley.com.
 

Joanna Huang's picture
Senior Consultant - Accounting and Finance | Investment Management
joannahuang@morganmckinley.com

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