Over the last 24 months, Scotland has been languishing in terms of creating jobs. In the financial services sector alone, the number of open positions dropped by 16% in Glasgow and 20% in Edinburgh. However, things are heading in an upward trend again. Now that the independence vote has passed, companies are regaining the confidence they need to expand and hire. Recruitment agencies in Glasgow, Edinburgh and other cities are on their way back.
The financial services sector was not the only employment sector to see fewer vacancies over the last two years. Nevertheless, it was the most pronounced due to the strength of the sector in Glasgow and Edinburgh. As financial services hiring picks back up, we expect to see similar trends throughout the country. Employment looks stronger across the board heading into the first quarter of next year.
It might seem odd to some that the independence referendum would have such a dramatic impact on the number of job vacancies in Scotland. Indeed, the question of Scottish independence was one that had implications running far deeper than just the political. Independence would have meant Scotland’s economy would have to stand on its own. That sort of uncertainty causes business leaders to step back and pause.
The financial services sector is especially vulnerable due to the implications of independence on everything from the national economy to investments to commercial and institutional banking. Moreover, when financial services companies are worried about the future, they tend to be less zealous with their growth and expansion goals. This, in turn, leads to less economic activity in nearly every other sector.
With the vote over and done with, companies can get back to business as usual. They can begin pursuing those plans they put on hold two years ago, plans that may include more hiring. Analysts expect hiring in financial services to be more in line with the rest of the UK very shortly. As for other job sectors, these should follow suit as well.
A Tighter Market
Despite the economic uncertainty caused by the referendum question, the last two years have not been all bad. The uncertainty forced companies in financial services to tighten things up a bit and rethink their business models. As the credit crunch was a wake-up call to the sector in London, the referendum question forced firms in Scotland to come to terms with how volatile financial services can be.
This new awakening to reality should translate into companies doing a better job of holding down costs wherever they can. They will be more selective about where they locate new offices, how they conduct business overseas, and even how they recruit and hire the best talent possible. It is all about being lean and mean in the new year.
As 2014 prepares to roll into 2015, expect recruitment agencies in Glasgow, Edinburgh and other Scottish cities to regain their momentum. They will be looking to fill additional vacancies in financial services, technology, business services, light industrial, manufacturing, and more. Job seekers would do well to start looking a bit more aggressively than they have in the past, including learning the best strategies for selling themselves to potential employers.
1. Herald Scotland – http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/scotlands-fall-in-finance-vacancies-is-biggest-in-uk.25687599