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Accountancy Professionals & Business Change Recruitment Specialists

More than meets the eye

More than meets the eye

August 10 2017

A one trick pony?

Wilkinson & Associates, they’re financial services specialists right?
Well yes…., but no!

Financial Services is the biggest sector we have here in Edinburgh, therefore naturally we spend a lot of our time developing relationships and making placements with those businesses, but it certainly isn’t all we do.

It’s a common misconception in the market that we only recruit for and into financial services companies. This isn’t the case – we have never been exclusively financial services and we never will be!

Given the volume of roles the financial services businesses bring to the local market, why wouldn’t we fish in the biggest pond?

Yes, since 2003 when our business was formed we’ve built many strong, lasting and profitable relationships in that sector and for as long as that sector remains dominant in Edinburgh we’ll continue to do so.

However, we have significant links into many other sectors and have a proven track record of recruiting for a wide variety of companies.

To give you an idea of our portfolio, in the last 12 months we have placed candidates into Renewables, Advertising, Construction, Fintech, Manufacturing and Utilities companies. This isn’t an exhaustive list and we’re actively speaking to new customers in new sectors every day.

Last year our permanent recruitment business was split roughly 2/3rds financial services and 1/3rd industry & commerce based placements. Hopefully that gives some comfort and insight that it’s a sizeable part of what we do. Personally the positions I’ve recruited for thus far in 2017 have been weighted in favour of the industry & commerce sectors. I accept some of that may be down to the financial sector feeling the ‘Brexit effect’ with many firms keeping their cards close to their chests until the landscape becomes clearer – however that’s not the sole reason. 

Personally, in my 10+ years in recruitment, I’ve assisted companies across the full spectrum of sectors – from funeral directors to fruit producers, medical device manufacturers to mobile app developers!

I believe the lines between financial services and other similar scaled organisations in different sectors are becoming ever more blurred. For instance accountants with proven cost management experience have been able to move into / out of a bank and take their transferrable skills with them.

Of course many sectors have industry specific roles, financial services is no different, and if you’re in one of those disciplines the transferrable skills may be harder to recognise or demonstrate but we have had notable success in moving high calibre candidates between the sectors based upon the transferable skills.

Likewise with the rise and rise of Fintech, the traditional remits of individuals and companies don’t necessarily apply in the same way they used to. The market overall is becoming far more fluid and we need to act accordingly.

As a business, we’re keen to ensure we can provide options for the candidates that we represent, as in my experience it’s rare that a candidate will approach us and say they only want to work in one sector. As you would expect people will have a preference and subject matter expertise which might determine where they’re best suited, although a large percentage of candidates are open to a range of sectors and as a business we need to reflect that.

Building upon our customer base in the non-financial sectors remains a key part of our strategy and as we continue on that journey in the years to come, I see our customer base being split 50% financial services and 50% ‘other’.

We are one of the most experienced and successful niche recruitment businesses in the Scottish Accountancy & Finance market and we will be doing our upmost to maintain and improve upon that status, across many different employment sectors.

Ross McQuarrie
Associate Director

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