‘War for talent is over’ as finance sector vacancies slump by 65%

Financial services firms have all but shut their doors on new recruits in response to the financial crisis, statistics show.

Research by headhunter firm Morgan McKinley found the number of new job vacancies had fallen by 65% in December 2008 compared with December 2007.

Vacancy levels declined for the sixth straight month, with the largest drop – more than 50% – occurring between November and December.

Robert Thesiger, chief executive of Morgan McKinley parent company Imprint, said recruitment in the financial services sector would never be the same again.

“The war for talent is over,” said Thesiger. “Employers now have a much wider pool of talent to choose from and candidates are facing fierce competition for the available roles.

“For the entirety of 2008, there have been more new candidates than new jobs coming onto the market each month. Inevitably, this has had a deflationary effect on the average City salary,” he added.

Those who moved jobs in December took an average of 76 days to make the switch, almost a full month longer than the previous year.

The HR jobs market has suffered a similar slowdown with activity at a record low level as firms implement jobs freezes.

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