Finance Recruiting Outlook for 2014

Recently quoted in efinancialcareers, Peter Laughter, Wall Street Services CEO offers up some insights on forthcoming finance recruiting trends for 2014. Read on to find out where hiring is going in the new year.

By all counts, 2014 looks to be a strong year for financial services and many sectors will see an increase in hiring. Globally, conditions continue to improve and corporations are holding significant cash reserves so M&A activity is likely to continue to increase. I see the trend in hiring compliance and risk professionals continuing to increase as well – regulatory changes are far from over and with increased punitive action from regulatory bodies, you can expect banks to continue to shore up their compliance capabilities.

What I find most exciting is banks’ desire to improve operational risk and controls – it is expected that the investigation into Barclays’ role in the Libor scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Across the board, other failures in internal controls have led to significant loses and fines. As firms look to rectify these failures for the future, demand for seasoned operational risk professionals will significantly outstrip availability and many people will enter this field. Once immediate risk needs are met and demand wanes, these professionals will be repurposed toward process improvement projects designed to streamline middle and back office operations.

The resulting process improvements will eventually drive reductions in staff levels in operations but I am unclear whether that will happen in 2014. Technology spending is expected to marginally increase so there will be little change in that sector.

With unemployment levels hovering around 7% we expect consulting hiring to remain strong throughout 2014. Currently, consultant hiring outpaces direct hires two to one, and employers have become accustomed to using higher level professionals on a consulting basis.

For more insights, see this efinancialcareers article.