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Recruitment News

Recruitment prospects with a niche skill set

While the difficult economic conditions have undoubtedly affected the number of opportunities in the Financial Services Recruitment market, a steady flow of financial adviser jobs, IFA jobs and paraplanner jobs continue to become available. Collectively these positions account for a major proportion of recruitment needs in one of the largest industries in the UK, therefore by sheer weight of numbers, good IFAs, paraplanners and financial advisers are likely to find work even during leaner times.

Unfortunately, for those in more specialist roles or niche areas of the market, finding a new position can be much more difficult. In this article we will look at some of the commonly asked questions of those individuals working in Sales Manager jobs, Broker Consultant jobs/Business Development Manager jobs, Employee Benefits jobs and Corporate IFA jobs to name but a few. In addition, we will also look at how applicants entering the Financial Services recruitment market can increase their chances of finding a role. As a great place to start;

“Is Exchange Street currently working on any Sales Manager jobs, Broker Consultant jobs/Business Development Manager jobs, Employee Benefits jobs or Corporate IFA jobs at the moment?”

At present we are indeed looking to fill vacancies in all these disciplines in key locations throughout the UK and it would be well worth exploring the job search facility on to find out if there are positions available near you.

Unfortunately the Financial Services industry has been one of the hardest hit by the problems in the economy and as a result many Sales Manager jobs, Broker Consultant jobs/Business Development Manager jobs, Employee Benefits jobs and Corporate IFA jobs have been made redundant. Combined with the lack of new opportunities in the Financial Services recruitment market, this has left a number of experience individuals out of work for longer periods than we may have seen in a while. With this in mind, candidates regularly pose the question;

“Will a gap in my employment history be viewed unfavourably by potential employers?”

In terms of current market conditions, the answer is categorically “no”. While gaps in employment on a CV will always need to be explained and accounted for, employers are only too aware of what is happening in the Financial Services market and that Sales Manager jobs, Broker Consultant jobs/Business Development Manager jobs, Employee Benefits jobs and Corporate IFA jobs can be hard to come by at the moment.

While for some a period of unemployment is sustainable, for many of us we need a steady income to pay the bills. As a result, a number of experienced industry professionals have been forced to look outside of Financial Services for short term employment. Therefore, another question we are often asked is;

“If I take on a role outside of the industry, will it make it more difficult to get back in when the market improves?”

Once again the answer is no. For the very reason that is proving a negative in the current climate, a niche skill set will once again become extremely valuable when the market improves. While jobs continue to be scarce in your chosen field at present, it is highly improbable that any significant number of new entrants will be gaining experience in these areas and therefore employers will need to seek out this historical experience when needs arise in the future.

Rather than look outside the industry, many candidates who have held Sales Manager jobs, Broker Consultant jobs/Business Development Manager jobs, Employee Benefits jobs and Corporate IFA jobs are keen to utilise their skills and qualifications within other areas of the Financial Services recruitment market;

“Although I have not performed this role before/for a while, can I be considered for IFA jobs, Financial Adviser jobs or Paraplanner jobs?”

Unfortunately the answer to this question is not quite so positive. While we are always happy to discuss the opportunities for career change with candidates, our recent experience tells us that many employers are not so receptive. The simple reason for this is that although a number of IFA jobs, Financial Adviser jobs and Paraplanner jobs are currently open, there are even more IFAs, Financial Advisers and Paraplanners seeking new positions. Despite the beginnings of a recovery, most Financial Services organisations remain very aware of the financial and business risks in a new employee not working out. Therefore, given the opportunity of recruiting an applicant who is currently working in an identical (or at least very similar) position or taking someone from a different part of the industry, most firms are currently opting for the former.

“How can I give myself the best possible chance of securing a Sales Manager job, Broker Consultant job/Business Development Manager job, Employee Benefits job or Corporate IFA job?”

When opportunities that have been in short supply become available, an employer can often become deluged by a huge response of applicants and either quickly fill the role or cap the number of applicants under consideration. In these cases it is essential that we already have a copy of your CV on file so that we can call you as soon as we receive the role instruction to see if you would like to be put forward.

To register your CV with Exchange Street, please go to the ‘Register Your CV’ section on or feel free to e-mail your CV directly to

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It is clear that they take time to find candidates that suit our business and that they have an honest approach when discussing any potential new recruit. I am sure that this is a reflection of their pre-screening processes where they can accurately assess a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses ensuring we do not waste time in the recruitment process, not something I can say of all agencies!

Director, Cullen Financial Planning