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Craziest ten days of the hiring year are here

If you’re looking for a banking job and don’t secure one in the next ten days, the likelihood increases dramatically that you’ll still be looking at Christmas.

In ten days it will be August 1st. In August everyone goes on holiday and it becomes difficult to a) arrange interviews and b) get hires signed off. There’s a brief window in which this can be achieved in early September, but come mid-September banking recruitment is usually closed down until Q1.

“Right now, it’s ridiculous,” says the head of one financial services search boutique. “For the next ten days it’s crazy, crazy. If people are on three month notice periods you really want them to resign before August 1st, otherwise the client becomes reluctant to pay a guarantee.”

“Things that aren’t wrapped up before the summer holiday are likely to slip into Q1 hires,” says Mark Horlock at Marshall Warburton Executive Search. However, he contradicts the impression of a hiring frenzy. “If people can’t make the hire now, they’re relaxed and will pick it up again later.”

Frenzy or not, there’s broad agreement about the areas of current hiring activity. They are:

1) Cash equities

BarCap, Unicredit, HSBC, and brokerage houses like Icap, Evolution and Execution have all been hiring. Merrill Lynch and UBS are expected to fill gaps.

2) Electronic trading

Algorithmic trading is hot. So is programme trading and anything related to DMA according to Horlock.

3) Convertibles

Citi and Credit Suisse are said to be among those recruiting.

4) ETFs

Jefferies bolstered its ETF team in June, other banks are said to be looking at it. “Everyone’s looking for experience in the more liquid assets that they can get out of quickly,” says Jeremy Kemp of search firm Jeremy Kemp International.

5) Fixed income flow trading

Collins Stewart, Evolution, Mint, Panmure Gordon, Newedge, and Conduit Capital markets have all indicated an interest in hiring. Revenues in the sector remain at record levels.

Comments (26)

Comments
  1. Sarah

    if i was working in business forecasting I would totally agree with you since I’d say the past is a good predictor of the future This year is different.

    Hiring has been low, very low through the year. Banks are hiring according to the work load and budgets and (as ur previous articles show) there is an uptick in hiring recently.

    Ur article is not a true reflection of current market conditions.

  2. Great article Sarah – well done! Typical response from someone at UBS – I bet they’re in HR! It’s not the big, BROKE investment banks that are hiring (people are still streaming out of them) – it’s the more clever, sharper organisations that are taking advantage of the turmoil of the tier 1 devestation. Your article IS a true reflection of the market!!

  3. Utter rubbish.

  4. Yep, complete carp I’m afraid to say

  5. while it is true that there is a seasonality in recruitment as well, but saying that recruitment will come to a grinding halt for 5 months is a very great stretch of imagination. It seems economy is bouncing back, and thus organisations will be required to respond the demands. 2008-09 has defied all historical trends, why should recruitment be any exception!!

  6. Heard Tier1 investment banks where heavily hiring for their new offices on planet Mars.

  7. Given that traditionally I have my best months as an agency recruiter in September, October, November and December, I’m not sure what Sarah is basing her “expert” view on……to suggest a history of 5 month hibernation in hiring in London is crazy. To quote exec search opinions where notice periods are typically 6 months gives a misleading view of the state of the market.

  8. @Leanne – if you’re covering the back and middle office, or are working on roles below VP, I admit that you’ll probably be busy throughout the year. However, it’s usually the case that banks pull back from hiring staff with largeish bonuses from September because there’s no point in paying guarantees.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
     
  9. I was able to secure in August last year 3 job offers, 2 from investment banks and one from a hedge fund. it all depends what you re looking for.

  10. Now this is true; To say its Crazy, Crazy is like saying there’s human life on mars !!! (ah well maybe there is); but to be honest Sarah most firms who are looking/expecting to hire in the front office, will have just concluded immediate needs before the real summer, (aug) and any looking/expecting or opportunistically will wait until sept/oct if hires out of a job or end of the year early jan/feb if poaching; ummm sorry attracting calibre individuals.
    In Aug i think we should, yes we should, all take a well deserved holiday, or catch up on our paperwork.

    Leanne, you must be doing contigent backoffice recruitment if your busy in these 4 months, i would guess it should really be 12 mths.

  11. As you say Sarah, the only people hiring are bookies on hard commission who will chuck people out of the window all too easily once the party stops- which it will soon, for the market, and in particular for the bookies. You have only to look at house like Goldmans, which despite its profits still has one completely empty dealing floor to see that the market in hiring has a long way to go.

  12. I too have found that about now it slows right down – especially if it needs a concnsus of 2 or more to say “yes”.

    Equally though – in my industry (Property) – there is a factor where the CEO comes back from a few weeks away to become annoyed at a negative matter which is either dwelled upon during the break or becomes highlighted / clarified upon return.

    We need more troops / replace that idiot or whatever the push or pull of the hiring mode.

    Keep your spirits.

    Perry

  13. actually you might be right in any year except this one, 2009 had it’s special circumstances in every possible way. the lay offs started on SEP -2008 and continued during 2009 . graduate schemes were pulled and graduates were asked to look for other job.
    when every thing is going dramatically wrong, it’s fair to say that if the economic recovers , you might surprised to see the amount of jobs that will be offered .just type private equity in your search engine and see what you get.
    however, i believe you should classify the job seekers to 3 categories.
    1- professionals with 5+ years of experience ,
    2- professionals with 1-5 YOE
    3- fresh graduates.

    for the first ones , i think their job hunting might go smoothly every time, they might take between 1-3 months depending what they used to do before
    the later may wait little bit longer ,compromise to buy for them selves some time.
    however the fresh graduate may found them selves stuck ,reminding that there is600000 in 2009 adding to 2008 grads who still actively searching .
    finally , this article might be bounded by UK market , in UAE the case always the opposite, hiring starts from the beginning of Q4 (SEP)till the end

  14. Sarah is right, although the different timing of bonuses can make for some exceptions.

    I remember a few years back some guys snatched by the late Lehman Brothers before year-end, which was made possible by the fact that leh was paying very early and they could fit some very early guarantees making them belong in the next year’s budget for accounting purposes.

    I’d guess for some banks this would still be the case?

  15. What are you saying Sarah?

    We are buggered for at least another year.

    Giacomo

  16. very nice and poroffessional people you are

  17. you are an idiot, remove yourself from Earth’s population

  18. make a booking at the coq d’argent

  19. Alok, you are a total groin.

  20. Possibly it depends on the sector. In GWM there is still enough hiring going on to keep me very busy and I fully expect it to pick up after the holiday season. If a Bank really wants to build and really wants to hire exceptional people then they will hire whenever and simply cut a deal that works for both sides. Investment banks may not, of course, be able to afford to do so with a tendency for comp packages only exceeded by their owners ego!

    Advocatus diaboli Reply
     
  21. I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I’ve had a cracking year in recruitment. One of my best ever. There are loads of jobs.

  22. I agree with Sarah, its really tough. I have no notice period and am available immediately yet I am still finding it hard getting back intot he market. Fred Goodwin

    FreddySteadyGo Reply
     
  23. I have to agree with Sarah. I have been out of work for just over a month and have not had even a sniff of a role.

    Sir Victor Blanket Reply
     
  24. This article is utter utter absolute nonsense!!!!!

  25. Sarah, I love you xxx

  26. So who is Mark Horlock? Does he know what he is talking about ? Are there really any good positions out there? If so, can he let me know.

    Aliceinwonderland Reply
     

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