Speaking to AccountantsDaily following the release of Hays’ Quarterly Report of Hiring Hotspots, Lynne Roeder, regional director of Hays Accountancy and Finance, said the outlook for the financial services job market is very positive, but noted a shift toward fixed-term roles.
“At the more senior end of the market within financial services there is a big trend for fixed-term contracts and organisations wanting to have as flexible a workforce as possible.”
“Roles that would have normally been permanent roles, they are now hiring on quite long fixed-term contracts,” Ms Roeder said.
“Employers want to know that they have employees on a contract and they are not obligated to have them longer than the terms of that contract.”
Ms Roeder said hiring employees on fixed-term contracts made sense given the instability of the financial services market in recent years.
“From a business’ perspective, it’s quite a wise thing because of the fluctuations and changes that have happened over the last while and they don’t want to be making redundancies all the time.”
Ms Roeder said an increase in major projects undertaken by the larger firms is also driving demand for fixed-term employees as permanent staff are “dovetailed off into these projects” leaving their substantive roles temporarily vacant.
Generally, offering fixed-term contracts would affect the type of candidates interested in the role, however, Ms Roeder says to date, quality hasn’t been compromised.
“Because there have been quite a few redundancies and quite a lot of people in the market, it hasn’t compromised the quality of applicants too much at this stage, but I think it is something they are going to have to be cautious of as this year goes on,” she said.
“We are, however, seeing the permanent job market growing and that means there is going to be fewer candidates around and firms will have to be carefully about that.”
The Hays report revealed demand is currently strongest for accountants with good analytical skills as well as auditors and risk specialists.