Craziest ten days of the hiring year are here

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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.