The Changing Financial Jobs Market

The economic downturn of recent years has had a massive negative impact across all industries worldwide. The finance industry has been hit particularly hard and has seen the shedding of large numbers of staff by major players in the industry. This has meant that existing staff are reluctant to change jobs and that there is fierce competition for any vacancies.

Given this level of competition, job seekers need to take all the steps they can to bring themselves to the favourable attention of employers and to make sure that they are equipped to meet the changing needs of the finance jobs market. Crucial to establishing these needs is an understanding of how the finance sector is responding to the new environment that has been developing since the economic crisis began.

One major area of change is the previously unattractive field of compliance. Finance businesses have been subjected to a plethora of new compliance regulations and controls that they must meet. There have been the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Bill in the United States, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in Europe and the Retail Distribution Review in Britain. These have created increased competition for compliance jobs and have prompted Randstad Financial and Professional to forecast an increase in project roles in response to the increased legislation.

Employers are now looking for applicants for jobs in marketing departments to be familiar with the legislative changes, as marketing and compliance are becoming more closely entwined. Candidates with qualifications like Chartered Financial Analyst or an Investment Management Certificate are therefore increasingly in demand. Interestingly, too, although the finance job market can still be described as sluggish as the economic gloom continues to linger, other areas in the finance sector are also showing signs of life – Human Resources in particular is one area that seems to be picking up.

The finance industry can be expected, however, to continue hiring the highest quality candidates to fill crucial roles in the sector.  It is, after all, inextricably linked to the British economy as a whole, the good health of which is heavily dependent upon a successful finance sector. And, as Professor David Blackaby, Deputy Head of the School of Business and Economics at Swansea University recently said: “ Financial services is an area where the United Kingdom economy has a competitive advantage and London is the financial center of the world.”

The financial sector can be expected, therefore, to continue to strive for growth but jobseekers will need to adapt and recognize the areas where the most growth is likely in order to be successful in their job search. Compliance and Human Resources are two such areas.


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