Balance Quarterly Market Update
Quarterly Market Update -Q3
Welcome to our latest Legal Accounts Quarterly Market Update, covering July to September 2016.
The Q3 period is a hard one in which to measure market confidence in the recruitment calendar. The holiday season inevitably has a strong influence on a firm’s willingness to begin a hiring process and certainly on its ability to efficiently coordinate a timely schedule of interviews. This year however, there has been uncertainty surrounding Brexit, so just what impact has this had so far on hiring within the Legal Accounts niche?
It’s hard to be too certain on what the causal factors were, and scheduling interviews during the holiday inevitably means delays, but there was a clear slowdown in decision making around hiring across the legal sector. In some cases, hiring processes would nearly grind to a halt altogether before eventually a decision was made. Whilst we do not wish to talk up the impact Brexit has had on the market, it would be foolish to deny it has led to nervousness at certain firms.
There has certainly been no panicking though - year on year demand for staff over the Q3 period remained almost exactly the same as in 2015, with only 1 less instruction received by our Legal Accounts division this year. There have also been many examples of headcount increases and introduction of newly created positions at firms both large and small, an encouraging sign of confidence. The legal sector has also proven to be very resilient through recent challenging periods in the economy, with law firms making significant progress during the last 5 years in becoming leaner, more efficiently managed and commercially driven businesses.
Areas in highest demand:
Areas in short supply:
Finance Systems Analysts
Year on Year comparison in number of vacancy instructions received during Q3 period: - / -
Key highlights from the APSCo produced ‘Professional Recruitment Trends’ survey (September 2016):
Demand for permanent finance staff (all industries) across the UK showed growth of 5% year on year
Permanent placements of finance staff across the UK showed the first negative in two years at -0.8%
Temporary placements of finance staff across the UK grew by 4.4%
Successful appointments we have made during the Q3 period include:
Finance Systems Manager
Senior Revenue Controller
Billing & Collections Specialist
Senior Credit Controller
+ many more
“It’s proven to be difficult to pin down any tangible hiring trends in the legal accounts and finance systems market over the last few months, with the instructions we’ve had through covering a good mix of permanent and interim assignments and for individuals from right across the experience range – from Finance Director and Controller levels through to ‘2nd jobbers’ in progressive early career stages.
The main challenge has been decision making. Several requirements have been reconsidered and revised having already gone to market and delays in interview scheduling and offer decisions have caused problems and frustrations for applicants, resulting in a number of preferred candidates being lost to competitors who have acted more swiftly. Those being decisive during periods of uncertainty elsewhere will always reap the rewards.”
“From a personal perspective the Q3 period has been very busy and a record quarter for me in the 3 years I’ve been at Balance. Most of my time and focus has been around billing and revenue control over the summer months, plus some multi-discipline positions covering a wider range of duties. eBilling is certainly a growing specialist field where skills are in short supply as more and more firms seek dedicated resource in this area.”
“Historically Q4 has tended to be the busiest period in the recruitment calendar for us, and the early signs are that this will be the case this year also. We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people actively seeking a move within the sector since mid September onwards. We’re seeing competition for applicants hotting up between law firms, leading to competitive salary offers and individuals securing solid career progression moves. For those who may be starting to consider their career options, it’s certainly a good time to be exploring a move.”
Kath Reynolds – one of our founding owners, was recently selected as a finalist in the Best Business Women Awards 2016 for the category ‘Best Business Woman in Recruitment’. Kath joined a very talented shortlist of female professionals working within the recruitment industry.
Having set the business up alongside Richard Hooper, Kath is responsible for all finance and operations, and works very closely with Richard and the London team in helping to drive strategy and improve the quality of service experienced by our clients and those we assist in their job search. Another certificate to add to our awards shelf!