Does London still have the big pull?

11th January 2016
Catherine Vickery

For many, London is still the place to be if you want to pursue a career in the financial services sector, and on the face of it, one would have a difficult challenge to argue otherwise. Being the home to many large multi-national corporations, stories appearing in the news almost constantly of incredible bonus payouts and the prospect of working in a city that is fundamental to the success of the FS industry on a global scale, the appeal can be great.

However, not all is as rosy as it once was. Earlier this year the Financial Times ran an article on state of the sector in London detailing where it is exposed to risks created by external factors such as Government policy and technology.  And in December we saw an article in City A.M. suggesting that the number of available jobs in the sector dropped by 32% in London in November, so maybe it’s time to rethink where one looks for an FS job.

While much of the kudos and allure of working within London still remains the changing of the environment has had a positive impact on those recruiting for financial and accountancy positions outside of the M25.

What we’re finding in the commuter regions of Essex, Suffolk and Kent, is that there is an increasing demand for highly experienced professionals in these counties. Whereas once before one may have needed to spend a couple of hours travelling into London each day to find your ideal job, these opportunities now lie much closer to home.

This is great news for those that are looking to make that first step on the ladder, but equally it has two-fold benefit for the communities where these jobs are based. Firstly it helps tackle youth unemployment rates in that area, but secondly the communities and businesses in the region are now gaining access to well qualified and experienced professionals as more and more of them are giving up the rat race of London and choosing to work closer to home.

Whilst we do work with some household names and those working in international markets, many of our clients are smaller sized firms whose client based is predominantly regionally based. This allows our candidates to have a positive direct impact on their local community as they’ll be able to see first-hand the results of the service that they provide. This is not something that London can offer.

Just like the trains that make their journey to London each day carrying tens of thousands of people only to make the outbound return, so too does the flow of financial and accounting skills. While many will still be drawn towards the capital, others are now looking for a life outside of the City and with them comes their knowledge, experience and know-how.

Employers, employees and their communities are now starting to benefit from this shift and we believe it’s only a matter of time before some of the larger FS firms start to look at commutable cities outside of London. If so, then they’ll look to engage with recruitment specialists operating in those regions and we believe we’re ideally placed to help all parties involved.