Recruitment Diary: November 22 2012

Banking jobs predicted to go east; and employees at breaking point

●Heading east The Asian financial centres of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore will create the most new banking jobs over the next year, say UK bankers. Only 11 per cent of them think London will create the most new banking jobs over the next 12 months, according to research by Astbury Marsden, the City recruitment firm. On the other hand, 73 per cent of the bankers and hedge fund workers surveyed think the Asian cities will create most new jobs. Greatest confidence was shown in Shanghai, with 26 per cent of respondents expecting it to provide the most new jobs. But City bankers thinking of moving need to brush up their Mandarin – Astbury Marsden research into new Hong Kong banking job requirements shows 40 per cent require the banker to speak the local language. Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, says: “When we conducted this same research last year we thought that sentiment towards London was at a low – unfortunately we were wrong.”●Two 25ths The Interim Management Association celebrated its 25th anniversary in the FT offices last week – the night after my own “25 years at the FT” concert in the same room. Jason Atkinson, IMA chair, congratulated member firms and reminded them that interim managers were first used in continental Europe to bypass inflexible labour laws. He spoke of the growing role interims are playing in organisations, and to emphasise the point, he sent me a note earlier in the day about how interims could help the BBC through its leadership problems. “Isn’t it time they considered taking on an experienced interim senior executive to bring in fresh management experience and expertise to take the organisation forward?” he says.●Stress Employees are close to breaking point – 55 per cent of them cannot handle the stress of their job for much longer. Research by business advisory firm CEB suggests employers, who are looking to spur growth through efficiency gains rather than growing headcount, are piling pressure on staff in the belief that only one in three of them is operating at peak productivity. But employees say headcount reductions have already forced them to take on additional responsibilities, deal with larger networks of people and depend on more complex IT. Conrad Schmidt, global research officer at CEB, says: “Most employers remain reluctant to invest significantly in increasing the size of their workforces to bring about growth. But there’s a growing risk that companies’ perceptions of their employees’ spare capacity are disconnected from the true position.”●Jobs euphoria on hold UK unemployment fell by 49,000 in last week’s official figures. But Anna Marie Detert, director at KPMG Management Consulting, advises caution: “Progress is slow and figures are masked, to some degree, by the high numbers employed in part-time roles.”

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