Finance job flow 25% up Q1 ’11 vs Q1 ’10 across the UK

At MRK Associates, we are seeing positive signs in the finance job market with the Blue Chips/ Corporates needing staff on an ongoing basis and the SME market certainly speaking more positively about recruitment needs in the future, even if they haven’t got the spare money to throw caution to the wind and increase staff numbers immediately.

Across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, the first quarter has shown that the large businesses are pushing their top line sales in an attempt to grow profits. The last 2-3 years have seen dramatic cost cutting and, although this is here to stay, there aren’t vast profits that can be gained from further cuts without dramatically affecting the core substance of these businesses. As a result, companies are chasing market-share, launching new products, diversifying into new markets and focusing sales efforts on new geographical territories.

This has been good news for accountants as companies need to ensure the figures and processes are in place to cope with this expansion. Commercial analysts, commercial finance managers and commercial finance directors are top of the finance recruitment agenda as planning and performance enhancement become essential. Financial controller jobs and Part Qualified financial accounting roles have also been prevalent as companies need to ensure the business is set up correctly to manage the finances of this expansion.

It’s not all good news for people in the accounting world though as many businesses are still trying to reduce their transaction finance headcount (AP, AR, GL, Banking, CC) in the UK. Many companies are not replacing these individuals when they leave, preferring to absorb the extra workload through the team already in place. This has meant that the market has been considerably more buoyant for the more senior finance professionals than those trying to make their way processing the day to day accounts.

As a result, this recent report (see page 4 on the link below) showing finance job flow remaining pretty consistent in March compared to February is fairly unsurprising. This ‘consistency’ takes a very positive light though when you realise that finance job flow Qtr 1 2011 vs Qtr 1 2010 is 25% up and 35% up from Dec 2009. This has to be good news that we are maintaining strong levels of job generation in the finance arena.
However, when looking outside of the finance job market and looking at the UK job market as a whole, there is still the need for caution as there has been a decrease in national job flow across all sectors in March.
This decrease is only slight though and with everything that has happened around the world in March (Libya, Japan earthquake etc), we shouldn’t expect consistent growth month on month. The commentary in this report does seem to make far too much of this and statistics can tell you anything when you look at one spot month……especially when you consider March was still 28% up against Dec 09 (Feb was 31% up against Dec 09 so there’s not much in it).

I’m all for being realistic about things but let’s be positive and try to enjoy a economically uplifting Spring and Summer!

See the results of the job report here:

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