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A look ahead into 2014…..

A look ahead into 2014…..

February 18 2014

2014 is now well and truly underway and it has the potential to be a very interesting and fun year indeed. Sochi holding the 22nd Winter Olympics, a football World Cup in Brazil, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup being hosted in our own backyard, and in the background, September’s referendum on Scottish independence just some of the landmark events taking place this year. Can you tell I am a sports fan !?!

On a more serious note however, what does the year 2014 hold in store from a general business perspective ? As recruiters we are often asked about market trends with regard to the economy and how these may impact employment. Many see our industry as a barometer of the more general business climate. Whilst we have definitely seen signs of improvement and optimism it remains hard to predict how exactly this will affect and influence the recruitment market for Scotland’s finance community and what it will eventually translate to in terms of supply and demand. There are some strong themes and certainties however.  Aberdeen continues to enjoy something of a micro-economy driven by the price and availability of oil, increased regulation in Financial Services and the Energy sectors drives demand for specialist candidates in regulatory, risk  and control roles, many of the biggest employers continue to look at cost reducing measures and initiatives, and on balance, continued optimism has seen a shift back to more of a return to equilibrium in the volumes of permanent recruitment versus temporary recruitment.

Whilst general confidence is up, there is a degree of fragility with this. Business funding seems harder to achieve in this economic climate which in itself can hamper investment and growth plans, and there still seem to be a fundamental gap in the volume of new and fast growing businesses and entrepreneurs. The  debate on Scottish independence must also be having an effect and until Scotland’s future is resolved the lack of clarity must undoubtedly be encouraging procrastination in decision making for many companies with a presence in Scotland or who are thinking of locating here. Until some of the most simple economic parameters become 100% clarified, not least our currency, lender of last resort and EU membership then there is a huge risk of inertia. As of October clarity should have been achieved around Scotland’s future status, and with a  fair wind and enhancements made on many of these other factors then cumulatively it could help speed economic recovery still further.

There are so many variables involved it is therefore impossible to make bold predictions on the state of the economy and the general recruitment marketplace over the remainder of this year but if we see a continuation of the positive developments experienced over the last 18 months this will hopefully mean that there will continue to be an uplift in the numbers and diversity of job opportunities. This can only be positive news for everyone. We don’t expect any dramatic peaks in the market, nor any significant troughs, but instead ‘organic’ growth buoyed by increased economic confidence and hopefully a ‘feel good’ factor from some significant Scottish/British/European triumphs in the aforementioned sporting events meaning 2014 could deliver some fantastic opportunities for all.

Guy Gracie 

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