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Finance market review – Q2 2014



The skills shortage has become even more acute in the second quarter of this year, resulting in salary inflation due to the competition to hire candidates and organisations’ increased aggression in buying back staff who resign.
Employers should consider the fact that candidates are still predominantly interested in how much of an impact they can make in a role and are scared off by burdensome processes and bureaucracy that hint at a frustrating work environment. This is more important than brand - there is an impression that the success of companies is far more tentative and fragile than it used to be. 
Candidates’ focus is divided between the not-for-profit and public sectors, where there is a sense that the work is worthwhile, and technology where the opportunity for significant growth seems more likely.
The main growth area continues to be the smaller and medium sized markets in which confidence continues to grow. Large companies are, however, still offering many opportunities as they struggle to fill roles and compete for the best candidates. International companies can offer a big incentive with the possibility of future moves abroad.


The second quarter of this year has provided an inconsistent picture, for example the North East has grown this quarter while the North West has shrunk. The Midlands has certainly seen an increase in activity and we see that continuing.
London and the South East continue to grow unabated.


The professional services sector is currently a major driver of growth in finance recruitment. Practice and consulting firms are seeking such large volumes of staff that we now have to pool talent from across the world to attempt to service these requirements and fill the skills gap.
In line with what we have seen in the press, we have been experiencing a significant rise in the ‘industrial’ market and at the other end of the spectrum the retail sector is continuing to reduce recruitment spend.
Not-for-profit sector growth is focused around charities and education.


While the finance recruitment market has steadily improved since the middle of 2013, the senior recruitment market has been far more sluggish, particularly within industry and commerce.  However, this quarter the market has finally started moving forward more obviously. Companies are hiring more senior staff at the £50-70k level as their confidence grows.
The shrink in the sub £45k market is more about the difficulty in finding newly qualified accountants rather than a change in demand.
For more information on the current finance recruitment market or to discuss your future finance recruitment needs, get in touch with your local Michael Page Finance team.