Danny McCance 27 Apr 2017 09:42am

City pay on the rise

Pay in the financial services sector rose by +3.5% in the year to March, at four times the average rate of other professional staffing agencies

A study by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reported a median increase of 0.8% during the period, with significant increases in six major sectors, the highest being within financial services.

Social care saw the second highest year-on-year increase in salaries of +2.1%, followed by IT, marketing and engineering (all +1.5%) and sales (+1.0%).

The rise in salaries can be attributed to an ongoing trend in demand for professionals across industry.

“As demand for placements via recruiters continue to rise, the search for talent is becoming more competitive – and creative - as evidenced by the increase in salaries and rise in forward vacancies registered by hiring companies,” Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said.

Commenting on the latest survey results, she emphasised that the recruitment dynamic is changing as hiring companies flex to find the skills that they need in the face of growing employment status, and increasing candidate shortages.

“With the candidate-stream slowing down and skills shortages intensifying, we’re seeing greater rewards and retention initiatives being offered by hiring companies, as well as more consideration to flexible and interim assignments in a bid to find short term solutions.

“The FS sector is [a] prime example of this shift towards a more flexible workforce, while it waits to see outcomes of Brexit negotiations and the implications that result. At the moment, it’s all about corporate agility and planning ahead”, Swain added.

“With a snap election offering the opportunity to get skills, jobs and recruitment up the agenda not only from an internal perspective but also with regards to the Brexit negotiations, we hope that the government’s election campaign will extend to legislation around trade and employment that will positively impact the professional recruitment sector directly and act as a catalyst to firm up strategies around skills and employment post-Brexit”.

Roger Tweedy, head of communications and marketing at APSCo, said, "Since the 2016 Brexit vote, employers in the financial services sector have been balancing a demand for talent (and an expectation that this demand will intensify as EU sources reduce) with the need for flexibility during a period of heightened uncertainty. 

"Over the last nine months, our APSCo data shows that employers, especially in London, have responded to this tension between talent and agility by increasing their ‘bench’ of temporary and contract workers."

In reaction to the election announcement last week, business organisations were concerned that the government will focus on electioneering at the expense of the economy and British business, even though there are wider issues beyond Brexit that need to be addressed.