Brexit uncertainty is having no effect on hiring in professional services.

No slowdown to report says Ambition.

Professional Services recruitment specialists Ambition have reported that despite the uncertainty around Brexit, hiring is showing no signs of slowdown. Business development and marketing hiring has been particularly prevalent in Q1. Firms are identifying that the external marketing and BD efforts of their teams need investment and there has been little hesitation in replacing movers in operational roles too.  Ambition reports that over 20 per cent of roles released to them in Q1 were newly created positions resulting in additional hires into BD & Marketing teams, indicating strong growth in this area.

Business support has also seen a solid start to 2019 in terms of job flow. However, candidates are generally being more cautious which, in turn, has created a slight shortage of candidates who are willing to change roles at this time.  Temporary and interim recruitment remains buoyant for PA and admin roles and this trend is expected to continue throughout 2019.

For insolvency and restructuring, the expected upturn in workflow for UK Insolvency Practitioners has certainly materialised. Whilst a fair number of the cases that were appointed last quarter were your cut and dry burial jobs, the bigger ticket appointments in the retail market have also emerged with the likes of Oddbins, L.K Bennett and Patisserie Valerie also having entered formal insolvency processes.

The one area which is reporting a slowdown in hiring is corporate finance. Brexit has and is directly impacting upon the levels of inward M&A activity taking place for UK companies although foreign investors are looking at Britain as one of the more popular target nations for striking up a well-priced deal.

2018 was a challenging year for deal makers as the global M&A market suffered from various social, economic and political factors that directly impacted upon deal completion levels. It is therefore understandable for this slowdown to have continued during the first quarter of 2019 although confidence amongst buyers has started to show more positive signs as we move into Q2.

Demand for finance and accounting candidates has also remained strong over Q1, particularly in legal and practice. For many law firms, current market conditions have created a sharpened focus around client service and this has provided a positive accelerant to conversations around change and disruption in the sector. 

Continuing the trend from last year, many firms are continuing to take the plunge in moving some of their business services functions to other locations in the UK and this has mainly affected junior and transactional level roles in finance. Challenges remain around sourcing for experienced talent in these locations with firms having to be more open to hiring individuals with no prior professional services experience. 

Matthew Gardner, director at Ambition, said: “Importantly, particularly in a very candidate driven market, we are still seeing great confidence from candidates to seek new opportunities and search for greater career opportunities, which is supporting the consistently high job numbers we are seeing in the legal finance market. 

“Moving into Q2, the market remains steady and although we expect to see a small dip in line with the bank holiday festivities, we expect confidence in the market to remain when it comes to hiring critical replacement roles across all sectors and don’t anticipate any slowdown in the recruitment market.”

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