Financial services sector to lead in-house jobs market

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Lawyers looking to move into an in-house legal role may have more luck with financial services sector brands, which are heating up their recruitment efforts.

Signature Consulting managing director Steve Cole told Australasian Lawyer that with more M&A and transactional activity, more financial services in-house teams are now recruiting.

However, he warned candidates they would have to fight hard to snare an in-house role.

“A lot of people want to move into in-house positions; it is very competitive,” Cole says.

“It is not the market we saw some six years ago before the GFC, where in-house teams were growing very strongly,” he continued. “Things will improve this year, but it will be slower, and when those roles do come along it will be very competitive,” he says.

He said that with the increased deal flow in the market, some movement of lawyers from private practice to in-house roles will create a bit of movement in the jobs market.

If candidates cannot find roles in-house, they may be able to snare private practice roles more easily over the next few months, as market improvement causes a ‘ripple effect’.

“What this market has shown over the last five months is that candidate is king again,” Cole says. “The firms are going to have to start battling it out again to attract the best talent, and the best talent will have a choice. That will be a big challenge for firms now.”