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Job-seekers flock to City job market, but banks still focused on cost-cutting

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It doesn’t take much to spark a change of sentiment in the City job market. After a year or so of gloom, the past few months have created an air of positivity, but – like the London housing market – any new opportunities are over-subscribed.

Financial professionals are flocking back to the job market, according to the latest employment monitor from recruiters Morgan McKinley. Over 9,300 candidates applied for jobs in the City during October, a 32% increase on the previous month and a 110% rise on the same point in 2012.

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However, the number of new jobs doesn’t yet reflect the optimism among financial services professionals. There were 7,245 new jobs in October, according to Morgan McKinley, which is broadly in line with the number of opportunities each month since June.

The reason for optimism, however, is what’s likely to happen to jobs for the remainder of the year. In the final two months of 2012, there was a dramatic drop in job numbers as most financial services organisations continued to roll out redundancies. However, Morgan McKinley is anticipating job numbers remaining at around 7,000 per month for the rest of 2013 and into 2014.

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Nonetheless, the types of jobs emerging remain focused on the middle office and IT. Liquidity and capital reporting roles are in high demand, suggests the recruiter, along with valuations positions. Banks are also keen to hire user experience professionals with digital expertise, it said.

As well as getting in line with regulatory requirements, financial services organisations are also still focused on cutting costs when it comes to recruiting. Candidates who can bring a diverse range of skill-sets, in other words perform multiple functions, are most likely to be hired, according to Hakan Enver, operations director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.

“We are increasingly finding that new positions are likely to consist of a combination of diverse responsibilities,” he said. “This consolidation of roles can be attributed to the fact that organisations are looking to cut costs via efficient internal structuring. As a result, flexible candidates with a vast array of skills and experience are being snapped up.”

Financial services organisations are also being more prudent with pay rises – offering an uplift of 12% on average, compared to 20% increases in August.

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  1. Being a maths grad helps. Programming experience, too.

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