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Banking job market deteriorating further

Recruitment firm Morgan McKinley has released its May report on the state of the market for banking jobs, and things appear to be getting worse. New job vacancies were down 17% in May ’08 compared to May ’07, and were down 8% between April ’08 and May ’08.

Morgan McKinley says its findings may overplay the extent of the month on month deterioration because May included two bank holidays and April didn’t.

But the head of financial services recruitment at a rival firm says Morgan McKinley’s snapshot is deceptively optimistic: “Job volumes are holding up, but what’s more telling is the number of actual placements that are being made. A lot of companies are putting out jobs just to suss out the market and see what they can get, but those jobs are not necessarily being filled.”

In finance and risk, both of which are still relatively buoyant, she says actual placements are down 25-50% on last year. In other sectors the decline is likely to be more dramatic.

There are some positives in Morgan McKinley’s negative report. The number of new candidates coming onto the market fell 19% between April and May, suggesting redundancies slowed last month.

Comments (10)

  1. I think the observation regarding the “Phantom jobs” is accurate. This is a curious strategy that will only damage the talent pool in the medium term. Candidates will (have) quickly sussed those organisations that are engaged in this dishonest practice and will avoid them in the future, it will take some time to repair reputations lost through an exercise to collect CVs – what is the point? Not to mention the HH, they will avoid those Banks bearing false gifts – why work for no reward ? We are on the point of the IB recruiting market going downhill beyond the point of short term recovery. Candidates are leaving the Banking industry and false jobs only accelerate this. Not only that, but candidates are finding that the salary/ work balance equation outside the IB industry is not that bad. The industry failed to adequately reward outside the Front Office for years and other industries were able to catch up (especially IT contract rates). We are now almost guarunteed a skills shortage when the market recovers and this means salary inflation. When will this Industry learn to think more than three months in advance ??

  2. Basing analysis on how many new jobs a contingency recruitment agency takes on is fundamentally flawed.

    Undoubtedly the number of open vacancies across the industry has decreased but considering that the vast majority of employers are increasingly focused on lower cost recruitment, some vacancies that do exist are not reaching recruitment firms at all.

    Also consider that employers are also being more focused on who they are giving their work to at the present time.
    Some larger recruitment firms add little value to the employer and lack true understanding of the market segments they operate in and more often than not actually driven by their own internal targets/measures (business development calls/meetings/jobs/interviews etc etc) than the client requirement.

    Perhaps efinancial can run some stats of their own – how are the numbers of employers advertising looking compared to last year? That may well be a better gauge.

    I’d say that if you are looking for a new position at the moment you’re better off taking the time to apply to the employers individually. Employer is more likely to be flexible around experience & you don’t carry the recruitment fee!

    Recruitment Veteran Reply
  3. I see so many similar jobs posted by companies like Huxley etc -are these real jobs?

  4. I agree with Wizards comments………..I left a major house through redundancy last month and have been attending interviews etc. There are certain firms that are creating phantom jobs out there. They are also firms that are holding stringent interview sessions which are taking up to 4-5 weeks which is far too long to keep somebody hanging on so yes they are going to lose good people and will suffer

  5. Re phanton jobs, here’s the deal;

    Respond to a job ad and you’ve been hooked. They’ll get a CV and spray it around London and may get you an interview and attempt to sell you into something you’d never thought of or dont really want to do. In the same way estate agents always post great flats on the net at reasonable prices – they just want your interest and then they’ll turn the sell on you…

    Then there’s this old chestnut, Recruitment consultant posts a job ad for something that doesnt exist – you apply but dont get a response….recruitment agent is filling up his/her database. Then after some time has passed the recruitment agent gets a real vacancy. They call you up at work and “head hunt” you…”hi, I’ve heard your name in the market…my client knows about you too and wants to talk etc etc” – You feel great as you think you’re getting chased, you go to the job interview and tell interviewer you were head hunted – the employer thinks you’re great and the recruitment consultant is great too as they have been pro-active…

    Reality is they’ve done very little work – thats why phantom ads are placed…

    Recruitment Veteran Reply
  6. You see all these jobs advertised and when you ring them about the jobs -you get the feeling all they want to do is get your Cv and spray it out everwhere. Very unprofessional and makes a mockery out of candidates who are serious about getting a real job rather than being on their database.

  7. I think the market has flat lined in the main & that will have medium term cost repercussions. I would be more interested in the number of candidates leaving the market, which is the indicator that should worry HR & CFOs. It is not only HH posting phantom jobs, keep an eye on this website to see the jobs that are re-cycled every six weeks. This may work in the short term, but the real issue will be if candidates lose faith in ALL job ads, accelerating the decline in the talent pool. People do react irrationally & the IB recruitment market (like any market) is based on confidence. Could we possibly reach the situation that the candidate pool shrinks so much due to under confidence that wage inflation returns? Nightmare scenario of falling revenues but increased people costs? 50,000 unemployed bankers probably says No, but stranger things are happening at the moment.

  8. You need to be careful as headhunter’s are calling people asking where they have interviewed and trying to get enough information about the roles so they can approach the hirer to place there own people!!! Pretty messy out there just remember recruiters are battling against each other!!

  9. Can anyone tell me whether the jobs posted on eFinancial are legit? I believe most if the agencies are still posting phantom jobs. I also got a call from an agencies asking me where I have interviewed and who I saw and how much they were offerong. This to me seems to be a ply by the agencies to get there own people interviewed. So a word of warning to everybody keep you cards tight to your chest when speaking to agencies!!!

  10. In posting a position with us, all recruiters agree to our terms and conditions, which stipulate that job advertisements must relate to specific and genuine job opportunities available at the time of posting.

    eFinancialCareers Reply

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