City hiring up on sign of economic recovery

 
Tim Wallace
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ACCOUNTING and finance staff are in increasing demand, according to a recruitment industry study out yesterday, while expected redundancies are plummeting.

Almost 40 per cent of finance bosses expect to take on more staff in the coming six months, recruiter Robert Half reported.

That is an improvement from the 31 per cent who planned to take on workers at the start of the year.

Overall 33 per cent of directors in firms across the professions expect to increase headcount in the second half of the year, up from 24 per cent six months ago.

Only two per cent expect to make redundancies, compared with nine per cent earlier in the year.

London is the most upbeat region – 40 per cent of firms expect to hire more staff in the capital.

The increased demand in the City is expected to keep salaries rising, as the specialised staff often required – in areas like compliance and risk – are in short supply.

The proportion of firms expecting to increase professionals’ pay has risen from 31 per cent to 39 per cent.

And the proportion forecasting a cut in pay and bonuses has declined to just seven per cent.

“As the job market improves, companies are finding that the pool of highly skilled talent is shrinking and the large majority is citing challenges sourcing the requisite talent and keeping them on board,” said Robert Half’s Phil Sheridan. “While remuneration continues to be an attractive incentive, companies should also look at other valued benefits such as flexible working, tuition reimbursement and initiatives to improve work-life balance.”

However the largest pay rises are due in the public sector – 43 per cent of bosses expect to increase professionals’ pay in the state sector, and only three per cent are planning to cut pay and bonuses over the next six months.