The pre-Olympics flurry of recruitment is being replaced by stagnation

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Blink, and you might have missed it, but the last few weeks have been among the busiest of recent months for a City recruiters as financial services firms rushed to get the hiring process underway before the Olympics starts in London tomorrow. Unfortunately, for the next month, expect nothing to happen.

London is awash with purple polo-shirted volunteers, Boris Johnson’s recorded voice is preaching patience on the city’s creaking public transport infrastructure and the world is about to witness 10,000 dancing nurses in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Maybe.

It’s finally about to kick off, but fears about lack of available candidates has spurred many recruiters into action in the weeks prior to the Olympics.

“For the past few weeks, I’ve been busier than during most of this year,” says one headhunter focusing on investment banking roles. “Interviews, new roles being released or signing off a new hire have all been rushed through. The feeling is that if they don’t get the process going or completed now, that could be it for the rest of the summer.”

The latter part of this is fast becoming a reality. It’s not just the prospect of workers taking advantage of flexible working policies or skulking off to Greenwich Park to watch the dressage. Even if a candidate is available, making their way across London is anticipated to be a nightmare.

“August is quiet anyway, but this year it’s going to be completely dead,” says a headhunter focused on the asset management sector. “Getting to interviews will be impossible, but it’s also likely that at least one decision-maker in the recruitment process will be unavailable. Basically, we’re buggered for the next month.”

The advice, therefore, is fairly simple – try and bag yourself one of the last remaining tickets, develop a new-found appreciation for archery or weight-lifting, leap on to any corporate hospitality coming your way, or simply get out of London.

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