Some financial services recruiters are now being paid nothing at all

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If you work in a bank you are probably now resigned to having a smaller bonus paid over a longer period of time. But pity the recruiters/headhunters who are now being paid nothing at all or being paid in commission only (which in the current market probably amounts to the same thing).

Recruitment firm Stephen Raby is said to be among those slow to pay some staff what they were expecting in recent months. Chief executive Stephen Raby declined to comment on individual salary arrangements but confirmed that a number of redundancies have been made.

Raby also said things are looking up: "There has been a sharp increase in activity in the first quarter of 2009 which we are confident will continue in the foreseeable future," he added.

Other financial services focused search firms are said to have dramatically trimmed staff and shifted to a commission only pay model.

"This will happen more and more often," says Simon Hughes at search to search firm Strata Search. "These businesses are very lean and most recruitment companies have little reserves. They will need to generate the fees to pay people."

"A few firms are asking people to drop their salaries in order to keep their jobs," confirms Ed Bathgate at search to search firm Longbottom. "There are several boutiques that have either dramatically reduced salaries or moved to commission only pay."

IT recruitment group S3 is understood to be making broad redundancies. However, others such as GRS, the risk focused recruiter, are hiring. A spokesman for the company says risk recruitment is about to "go nuts."