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UK – Robert Walters sees hiring trends adding to signs of recovery

10 October 2013

Robert Walters, the eponymous CEO of recruitment firm Robert Walters, expressed optimism at the current state of the employment market in the UK in an article recently published in TheTelegraph.   

He wrote: “At Robert Walters, we focus on the recruitment of specialist professional roles across disciplines such as accountancy and finance, legal, sales, marketing, HR and IT, covering both the corporate and financial services sectors. So we’re in a strong position to see whether the signs of recovery are being substantiated by employment growth.”

“The good news is that some clients are beginning to hire again — not just to replace staff who have left, but also to strengthen existing teams and create new ones actively to drive growth. That’s something we have not seen too much of in recent years.”

“This is especially true in banking where, in the second quarter, our UK Job Index highlighted that the number of advertised roles increased 27% on the previous three months. Over the same period, we saw insurance sector vacancies rise 16% and legal vacancies up 15%.”

He continued: “During the downturn much of the demand for professional candidates was focused within areas such as legal, audit, risk management and compliance – all vital in times of increasing regulation. Demand for these roles, particularly in risk and compliance, has remained strong as regulation becomes more complex and onerous.”

“However, we are now also seeing banking and financial services organisations seeking to hire professionals to drive revenue generation activities – pointing to an increased level of confidence that has not been seen for several years. The same can be said of the corporate world, with increasing numbers of sales, business development, marketing, IT and digital roles, in particular, coming to market.”

“The uptick in hiring activity is not just confined to London and the South East; many multinational organisations are establishing hub operations in cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.”

“Ironically, whilst organisations are increasingly looking to take on new employees, candidates remain slightly more cautious. The downturn is still fresh in the minds of many — the “last-in, first-out” concern remains very real.”

“Organisations hiring today are employing a generation immersed in social media and understanding this environment is important, but a word of advice to candidates: the workplace remains a face-to-face environment.”

“Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills will always be valuable, and vital to a successful interview. Candidates do themselves a great disservice if they don’t sell themselves by demonstrating an ability to positively interact with a potential employer, bringing to life their personalities as well as their credentials,” Mr Walters concluded. 

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