IT dominated hiring within Financial Services last year: could layoffs reverse this trend in 2023?

That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector. 

The data, provided by Vacancysoft, revealed that IT professionals were the most sought-after, with 33,542 jobs in 2022, up 15.8% year-on-year.

The banking profession ranked second, closing 2022 with 27,000 new roles constituting a 32.7% increase on 2021 levels.

With huge investments in technology and digitalisation, it is perhaps unsurprising to see such demand for tech professionals.

However, with widely publicised reports of mass layoffs planned in the banking remit, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on hiring levels within the financial services arena this quarter.

Elsewhere, the data reveals that out of the top firms operating within the financial services arena, Barclays topped the table last year, posting over 5,700 vacancies, a year-on-year rise of 147.8%. JPMorgan Chase was the next best performer, with more than 4,600 jobs – representing a 14.3% rise on 2021 figures.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said, “Our latest data shows that hiring within the financial services sector was buoyant last year – and IT professionals dominated the recruitment landscape.

However, with reports of banks planning layoffs to cut budgets, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on recruitment levels for the first quarter of 2023.

“With IT skills the most sought after in the sector, it is possible that hiring will remain somewhat buoyant despite layoffs as the need for tech experts is less likely to drop off on a significant scale in the sector. It will also be interesting to monitor how the staffing challenges of the financial services sector evolve in the coming year.

“As we’ve seen in previous downturns, cutting headcount too fast and too deep can have a detrimental impact on recruitment once the economy recovers.”

James Dobbin, Director and Head of Practice for Procurement Heads’ Financial & Professional Services sector, added, “The Financial & Professional Services sectors at Procurement Heads had a particularly strong 2022, with organisations across the space recruiting heavily.

“Mirroring the Vacancysoft data, IT procurement professionals continued to be in high demand across the financial landscape with technological advancements and a continuation of flexible and remote working helping to drive this demand.

“I would echo Ann’s caution on cutting headcount too quickly and the detrimental impact this can have on recruitment campaigns.

“From my experience of recruiting both during and after lockdowns, the organisations that struggled the most to attract talent were those which had severe headcount cuts.

“Companies that were able to bounce back quickly in the aftermath of the pandemic and were proactive and definite with their recruitment campaigns represented a much stronger proposition to candidates.

“So, while times are clearly turbulent in certain areas of Financial & Professional Services, I would urge organisations to reach out to professional recruiters to get a feel for the wider market.”

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