Optimism about summer hiring is being supplanted by fear that the Olympics will stifle financial services recruitment altogether

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Good if you like sport. Bad if you want a job

Once, a few months ago, recruiters we spoke to were quite optimistic that hiring might pick up as the year progressed. However, that was before Alexis Tsipras, a disappointing May, and Kian Abouhossein’s realisation that maybe revenues won’t be massively increasing in FICC after all.

In the new reality, London’s financial services recruiters are alert to a novel threat on the horizon: the 2012 London Olympics, starting July 27th.  “As soon as the Olympics starts, hiring is going to close down,” says one. “It’s become all the more important to get things closed in the next two months.”

“The Olympics will distract people and make it difficult to travel to interviews,” says another. “I can’t see things getting any easier.”

For the moment, headhunters say they’re spending a lot of time ‘making markets’ (uniting possible candidates with possible employers) and far less making fees.

“A lot of banks will meet good candidates and have a conversation with them,” says the head of one fixed income search firm. “But candidates want guarantees and firms won’t pay them.”