Professional services firms faring well in volatile conditions

City jobs grew by nearly a third in August, shaking off fears of a Brexit hiring slump, while law firms also fought uncertainty by posting growth in the same month.

According to recent research by Robert Walters City, the Jobs Index shows that London firms are continuing to show “a robust attitude towards recruitment”, with the number of professional jobs rising 31 per cent in August, a three per cent increase on July.

Permanent positions for accountants in financial services grew 34 per cent, with temporary roles increasing 22 per cent.

“Since the result of the referendum became known last year, rather than a decline in hiring we have seen a shift in recruitment strategies,” says Chris Hickey, Robert Walters’ Chief Executive for the UK, Middle East and Africa.

“In certain roles City employers are favouring contract professionals, ensuring that they have an agile workforce which can adapt to changing circumstances as Britain’s negotiations with Europe develop.”

And in other research, City law firms are also faring well, despite the volatile economic and political environment. 92 per cent of London-based law firms saw growth this year, an increase of 27 per cent on 2016.

Regional firms did however come across challenges, with only 28 per cent of those who experienced revenue growth in 2016 reporting growth of more than 10 per cent this year.  

Many firms were successful at converting turnover growth into profit, with profit per equity partner increasing for 60 per cent of companies, including nearly 70 per cent of City firms.

Topping the list of City firms’ concerns are Brexit, government policy and the regulatory environment.

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