London job market flounders in July, but hope on the horizon for red tape workers

Hayley Kirton
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There's going to be a boom in demand for those with a knack for compliance, the recruiter predicted (Source: Getty)

London's job slowed to a snail's pace in July, new figures out today show, but one particular set of skills may find itself in hot demand in the not too distant future.

Morgan McKinley's London Employment Monitor for July found available jobs had decreased by 12 per cent month on month, while the number of professionals seeking jobs had fallen 14 per cent. On a year-on-year basis, available jobs dropped 27 per cent in July and the number of professionals out job hunting slid by 13 per cent.

However, the marketplace for those with a head for compliance appeared more robust. Although Morgan McKinley noted there had been some problems with companies getting approval to take new staff on board during the first half of 2016, demand for appropriately qualified talent still outweighed supply.

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The recruitment firm added it expected to see a spike in demand for in-house lawyers and regulatory professionals, as banks and other financial sector power players tried to navigate their way through what Brexit meant for them.

"Despite the economic and political landscape, we have seen an increase of hiring in specific areas within compliance: front office advisory, compliance monitoring and guideline/investment monitoring," said Leo Bellometti, compliance consultant at Morgan McKinley.

Bellometti continued: "As we progress through the second half of the year, we expect the market to continue to be busy and that many of our clients will indeed be on the lookout for certain skills.

"Although the EU referendum result was not quite what the majority of the financial services sector was expecting, the initial news from our clients is that it's business as usual for the immediate future, meaning that recruitment within asset management compliance will continue to happen throughout the second half of the year."

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The current demand for talented compliance staff means those with the right skills can command a pretty penny too. Morgan McKinley data found staff moving within compliance advisory could expect a 15 to 20 per cent boost to their paypacket and average salaries and bonuses for managers in compliance in investment banking in London is now £89,000.

However, those currently jobhunting should be warned not to push their luck too much: the recruiter noted firms were no longer willing to sanction salary bumps in the 30 per cent range, even though this is what some candidates were on the look out for.

Recent research by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies found a similar spike for staff with a love for regulation in the run up to the referendum. Its figures showed a 26 per cent jump in vacancies for fixed-term contract hires for specialists in financial services and accounting roles in June.

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