Babcock on brink but staff in high demand

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Its CEO and chairman are gone, its share price has hit a new low, and it's battling for its very survival. But the news is not all bad for the embattled staff of Babcock & Brown - the international banks are keen to take on B&B refugees who jump ship or get laid off.

Recruiter John Coles, chief executive of Executive Group International, says Babcock employees are hot commodities.

"The global banks are looking to take on quality staff from Babcock with four to six years-plus experience at AD level. They are looking for people with local knowledge of infrastructure and mining."

While Coles couldn't comment on whether Babcock has imposed a hiring freeze, he did say, "It's easier to take them out of there than to put them in."

Mary Grant, principal consultant in recruitment firm Hudson's banking and finance team, confirms the market interest in Babcock staff.

"We are getting enquiries from Babcock and it's similar to what happened with Allco. When the rumours started, resumes started coming in. We're seeing people with corporate finance experience," adds Grant.

Although many banks have put an official freeze on recruitment, "they'll still look at really good candidates, while critical hires will still go ahead when somebody leaves," says Grant.

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