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Banking on skills from Ireland

Prevailing skill shortages in the City have resulted in some of London's major banks looking to attract skills from across the water, according to Hays, the leading recruiting expert. Accountants with a strong background in financial services or banking, and experience in risk, operations or middle office are sought after. The recruiting business is pre-screening candidates and using video conferencing in Ireland to facilitate the process and support those Irish workers who were casualties of the economic downturn.

"This isn't about there being a lack of skills in London, but rather this is because there a dearth of the top tier of talent willing to move, which has created a shortage of good candidates," commented James Lloyd-Townshend, Director at Hays Financial Markets. "We are in a position where a large number of banks are crying out for the very best accountancy professionals and they have very specific requirements when it comes to the level of skills and experience needed. In London candidates at this level are often reluctant to leave the security of their current role and therefore we are facing a situation whereby we don't have the talent available to fill the positions."

A senior manager at a major international finance institution said: "The increasing regulatory environment coupled with an upturn in levels of business is impacting on our need for highly skilled staff. Banks are typically quick off the mark to step up recruitment activity when the need is there and what was previously just increased activity in the front office area is now flowing through to middle and back office. Irish candidates typically come from Irish banks or have an International Financial Services Centre background, both of which are directly relevant and the experience is transferable."

Lloyd-Townshend emphasised the importance of ensuring that the requirement for skills is met so that demand doesn't spiral. "By utilising the Irish workforce as well as the skilled available workers in the UK we can do our best to ensure the banks have access to the right talent as and when they need it".

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About Hays:

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • the Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:

Sarah Swailes or Claire Fowler
T. 020 7259 8821
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