Mobility: A Survival Tactic for the ‘Jobs Crunch’

One in three finance professionals are considering relocating in order to find a job, signalling that in today’s market, securing a position may be just as much about mobility as ability. That’s according to a recent survey by professional national and international finance recruiter, Morgan McKinley.

The survey, conducted via Morgan McKinley’s national network of offices, questioned 600 finance professionals who are currently job hunting. The results showed that not only would a third (34%) of jobseekers relocate, but that almost two in three (65%) would increase the length of their daily commute to secure their next career move. Of those, almost 40% would consider adding up to an extra two hours per day to their travelling time.

When asked why they were currently seeking a new position, the top three answers given by respondents were redundancy (32%); better career prospects (28%); and increased job security/stability (12%).

“While it has been the norm for some time for professionals to move both nationally and internationally in pursuit of a better lifestyle or for career advancement purposes. In 2009 – what some may call the year of white collar unemployment – this looks set to change. For many, mobility may well become an economic necessity,” says Gerald Fitzgerald, CEO of Morgan McKinley UK.

“The longer term question has got to be: Is this just a phenomenon of the times or will it become commonplace? This jobs crunch may drive the professional labour force to not just focus on traditional hubs such as London to find their next career move but cast the net wider, meaning there is continued mobility both nationally and internationally.”

A case in point is Cambridge graduate, Jamie Astbury, who has moved from London to the West Midlands to take up a position with a top-tier investment bank. “It was difficult trying to secure a role in London, particularly as a graduate, and I had heard that there were some regional opportunities available. It wasn’t easy; my friends are all in London and I had never lived in the Midlands before. My weekends are spent trying to find somewhere to live and I’ve had to buy a car, which is something I didn’t really need in London. However, the cost of living is cheaper – as is property – and I’m close to large cities like Birmingham and Manchester. At the end of the day, I’ve been able to secure a good position and get my first step onto the career ladder, which has to take priority.”

Gerald Fitzgerald, CEO of Morgan McKinley UK comments: “Over the last couple of years, there has been significant growth in the number of financial services organisations with operations in regional UK centres as ‘near-shoring’, as opposed to ‘off-shoring’ internationally, has increased in popularity. This trend has resulted in a wider choice of financial services employment options around the country which just wouldn’t have existed three or four years ago.”

The latest available data on inter-regional migration movements from the Office of National Statistics shows that overall levels of internal migration increased by circa 5% in 2007. This rise in mobility is a trend that Morgan McKinley believes is set to continue.

“We have responded to this change in attitude within the professional labour force by restructuring our business and bringing our three finance recruitment brands in the UK; Morgan McKinley, Nigel Lynn and ECHM, under the one brand – Morgan McKinley,” explains Gerald Fitzgerald, CEO of Morgan McKinley UK.

“Those looking for a new job need to be able to access opportunities in different locations but employers should also have the opportunity to tap into other regional and international talent pools. Consequently, Morgan McKinley, with its presence in London and eight other regional locations in the UK as well as offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, is perfectly placed to facilitate this.”