Angela Lopes, of Tiger Recruitment, said word of mouth plays a huge part, and suggested securing temporary contracts and impressing on the job is a good way in.
“If you can get some good reputable companies on your CV, it goes a long way,” she explained. “Try and get temp experience because you just never know what can come off the back of that.
“You could be going in on a temporary contract and be more secure than somebody in a permanent role because if there are cuts and the headcount needs to be lowered, the permanent roles could be the first to go.”
But Mr Kaye says the likelihood of finding a temporary role isn’t high: “It’s more common when businesses are aggressively expanding, and we’re not seeing that at the moment.”
Youth might beat talent
If you’re considering a career swap to the City, experts suggest you might find it more difficult than a grad with little experience. Younger candidates with the mettle for the demands of the City are more likely to land a job than those further along in life.
“If you’re at the early stage of your career, you’ll probably find it easier to get into the market versus if you have 15 to 20 years of experience,” according to Michael Henning, head of investment at recruiter Mason Blake.
Mr Kaye agreed: “Firms think younger people are more moldable, and wouldn’t necessarily have all the burdens of an older adult so they can fit more into the work/life balance.”
“I’ve never seen a junior role where they’d consider someone over 30 years old,” he added.
Lower skilled jobs are hard to come by
Despite the fact that firms are on the lookout for young talent, the task of getting your foot into the City is proving greater due to a lack of opportunities for low-skilled beginner-friendly jobs.
“There are actually larger barriers in place at the moment with employers being more risk-averse,” Mr Kaye said.
“Employers used to give those from other industries more of a chance but we’re just not seeing that at the moment. A lot of the simpler roles are being outsourced to the further reaches of the world.
“Places like Delhi are now the main hub for what used to be the basic roles in the City. If you were to look for a simple clerk or officer role, for example, you’ll find a lot of them have been outsourced – the more complex roles are staying in London where the talent is.”
For example, Evelyn Partners, one of the UK’s largest accountants, is considering outsourcing its services to India as the firm outgrows its new City headquarters. It would follow similar moves by the Big Four accountants – EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG – which have long outsourced routine processing tasks to cheaper and more efficient offshore centres in India.
Hakan Enver, managing director at Morgan McKinley, said: “Business leaders are now far more focused on cost reductions and improving cash flow.”