Hays reported yesterday. It wasn’t pretty, particularly for anyone interested in financial services recruitment: the company made a £3m loss in the UK and said financial services hiring had slowed considerably.
If you work in financial services, in financial services recruitment, or have a passing interest in Hays, this is what you need to know:
As Robert Walters himself noted a few months ago, Germany is turning out to be an Arcadia for recruiters. German companies are deciding to use recruiters instead of hiring people directly themselves. Robert Walters is benefiting, and so is Hays. Hays' German revenues rose 31% last year.
While UK financial services recruitment may be especially bad, Asia is no panacea for UK problems. Hays chief executive Alistair Cox said there were issues in Hong Kong and Singapore too, “particularly in investment banking.” "If we were just a one-trick pony operating purely in financial services, then we'd have a problem," he added.
Cox blamed some of Hays’ UK financial services misfortune on the fact that UK bankers are migrating to Asia (despite there apparently not being jobs there either).
Hays has cut its reduced its UK consultancy headcount by 5%. This is despite devoting a lot of time training its consultants in so-called, ‘Hays Academies’, which it says set the. ‘Gold Standard of consultant training anywhere in our industry.’
Members of Hays’ executive committee have 40% of their bonuses deferred compulsorily over three years. Alistair Cox earned £1.5m in total last year.