Thursday 14 December 2017

Legal and professional firms boost activity after UK vote

Professional job opportunities rose by more than 2pc last month compared with June
Professional job opportunities rose by more than 2pc last month compared with June
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Legal and professional services firms here have been ramping up activity to meet the potential fall-out of the UK vote to pull out of the European Union, Morgan McKinley has claimed.

Companies are positioning themselves to deal with the complex contract amendments that could arise in the wake of the Brexit vote, with activity largely focused on advisory roles, according to the global recruitment consultants, which has published its latest employment monitor.

There was also an increase in middle and back office roles within the funds industry, although Morgan McKinley was quick to point out that the UK vote is not entirely responsible for that.

"That's not specifically in relation to Brexit, but it would suggest that there are some changes afoot in that area," said Karen O'Flaherty, Morgan's chief operations officer in Ireland.

"We have yet to see any dramatic change in hiring post-Brexit. The outcome of the UK referendum is however likely to require a recalibration of hiring forecasts and skill sets for certain employers depending on their sector, size and specialisation."

But the report points out that there are signs of increased activity in legal and professional services. "With a lot of our legal and professional services employers, there is a ramp-up of activity largely because of the impending contract amendments that are likely to take place from the different trade agreements that may be made," Ms O'Flaherty added.

"At the moment this might be more in an advisory capacity. The significant likelihood is that going into the latter part of this year and into next, we would imagine there would be a lift in employment in this area."

Overall, professional job opportunities rose by more than 2pc last month compared with June, but there are 8pc fewer jobs available than the same period in 2015, the reported states.

The pharma, medical devices and IT sectors were the top-performing sectors in relation to hiring activity this month.

In financial services, the funds sector experienced a slower start to the year in terms of job opportunities, but most recently there is an increased demand from a number of employers in Dublin looking for talent, the monitor stated.

Compliance, risk and tax experts are in demand generally within finance, along with newly qualified accountants. SMEs that have exposure to the UK are said to be taking a more "considered" approach to hiring.

Ms Flaherty said skills shortages are being experienced in big data, technology and digital roles. "The skill sets are not legacy jobs, they're changing job specs," she said. "There's a lot of people-orientated, change management skills, in the majority of mid to senior level positions, and anything from project manager and upwards.

"There a real necessity to look at a very different type of job description and skill set that's required. Even though there's a skills demand, the period of time it's taking to fulfil those roles is taking longer." The monitor also found that the number of professionals seeking new roles fell by 2pc to 7,635 in July when compared to June. Turkish, Nordic and Dutch were the most in demand languages in July.

Irish Independent

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