Recruitment in financial services hits pre-pandemic levels, report finds

Recruitment in the City of London’s financial district hit levels not seen since before the pandemic in the final three months of 2021, according to new data.

There was a 40% increase in the number of jobs available in the City in the final three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019 and a 118% jump when compared with the end of 2020 as the UK was in lockdown and under restrictions.

Global professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley found that financial workers were also keen to look for new opportunities, with a 34% increase in job seekers compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The Winter London Employment Monitor also found the average salary increase of moving from one job to another was 19% in the period.

Moving was also more attractive, with 40% more jobs available in the final three months of 2021 compared to the same period before the pandemic, Morgan McKinley said.

Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley UK, said: “The future is bright for City recruitment as the country starts to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

“With many companies getting their heads around working from home in 2021 and children back in school, we saw the sector grow beyond pre-pandemic levels by the end of last year.”

Last year there were a total of 32,331 financial services jobs created in London, a 118% increase from the previous year and a 30% year-on-year increase in job seekers.

The largest jobs increase came between April and June 2021, where there was a 211% increase in new jobs available compared to the same quarter in 2020.

However, there was a slight drop in available jobs in the final three months of the year.

Mr Enver explained: “Firstly, the emergence of the Omicron variant and activation of Plan B created some uncertainty across businesses.

“Second, the reduced headcount due to more people taking their annual leave at the end of the year and businesses closing early for Christmas.

“As restrictions eased in July and businesses went back to the office in September, there were spikes in professionals looking for a new job.

“With Covid-19 changing our day-to-day working lives, people are increasingly searching for work-life balance, more flexibility or for a job they can get more satisfaction out of. They are not afraid of looking elsewhere for those things.”