morgan mckinley
2016 a year of 'mixed fortunes' for professionals, hit by Brexit uncertainty

2016 was a year of ‘mixed fortunes’ for professionals in the UK, with Brexit uncertainty and low wage inflation causing problems for hirers and employees alike.

The year saw big wage increases for jobs with specialist technical skills, the new UK Salary Guide by Morgan McKinley has revealed, showing that the UK is likely to remain competitive in this area post Brexit.

According to David Leithead, Chief Operations Officer of Morgan McKinley, “the very fact these specialists exist is a reassurance to those concerned about the UK’s future post Brexit – increasingly it is the assuredness of the supply of  talent, above all else, that decides where an employer will base itself and the UK will always remain competitive in this area.”

The Accounting and Finance sectors had a good year in 2016, with strong demand across the board throughout the year for newly-qualified accountants; and more specifically auditors making their first move into industry.

Recruitment in the risk management sector also stayed strong, particularly around 2nd line of defence projects.

“We anticipate that 2017 will largely mirror these trends, with quantitative risk again expected to be the main area of hiring, particularly with incoming regulatory changes”, the Morgan McKinley salary guide said.

The marketing benefitted from a “fantastic year of growth”, with increasing opportunities for marketing professionals across financial services, technology and retail industries. Demand for specialist recruiters also spiked, especially within areas such as technology, as companies look to grow their IT divisions within projects, development and cyber security.

“Uncertainty was the overriding sentiment in the UK business sector last year. We saw the impact of that in reduced volumes of job vacancies in many industry segments, particularly permanent roles in the larger employers, for whom the political and economic backdrop meant an unprecedented level of scrutiny over headcount levels and hiring decisions. As a consequence the professional temp market inevitably saw better conditions. For the moment this balance is likely to continue,” Leithead said.

Looking towards 2017, diversity is set to be a key topic on recruiters’ agenda. “Across the market there is an unprecedented focus on the need for diversity in the modern workforces, and hirers must reckon on this being another factor contributing to a fierce war for talent this year”, the report concluded.