It’s getting tougher at the top

And it’s not just in the manufacturing sector, that traditional bellweather for recessionary winds. At the senior end of the recruitment market, a real slowdown is hurting jobhunters everywhere. According to one finance director, who has been looking for a job since last year, it’s nothing less than ‘murderous’.

It’s always been a truism that the more senior you are, the harder it is to move. But it’s never been this hard.

CVs are being scrutinised as never before. Try, for instance, to find an FD’s job in a traditional company or sector and then explain why you left your recent post as a financial controller at a free-spending telco or an energy trading company.

Recruitment consultants, meanwhile, are painting a gloomy picture for those FDs currently fortunate enough to be in work.

Cowed by business pages that read each day more like court reports, they are reluctant to move job. The risk of finding yourself in the middle of an accounting scandal or two and thereby tarnishing an otherwise impeccable CV more than outweighs the sense that the grass is always greener on the other side.

This week even saw evidence that some finance directors are increasingly reluctant to leave their offices for fear of what might happen while they are away.

According to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, business pressures are tying one in ten FDs to their desks this summer. In the words of one: ‘I can’t afford to leave the business.’

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