Forex, ser­vices driv­ing Cyprus job sec­tor, says GRS

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The fi­nan­cial cri­sis that hit Cyprus in March 2013 has had a knock-on ef­fect on the em­ploy­ment sec­tor. More than a year on from the on­set of the cri­sis, Cyprus’ lead­ing re­cruit­ment agency, GRS Re­cruit­ment, pro­vides in­sight into the cur­rent re­cruit­ment sit­u­a­tion and trends that are be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in Cyprus.

After be­com­ing the fifth coun­try in the Eu­ro­zone to be bailed out in March 2013, the coun­try then spi­ralled into debt, which had a rip­pling ef­fect on its em­ploy­ment sec­tor. By Oc­to­ber 2013, un­em­ploy­ment rates peaked to 16.9%, as many busi­nesses were forced to slash em­ployee salaries, down­size or even shut­down.

As the months pro­gressed the un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures grad­u­ally dropped, with the lat­est statis­tics from Au­gust demon­strat­ing a 1.5% drop to 15.4%. And although business ser­vices have suf­fered a blow at the hands of the eco­nomic down­turn, they have not suf­fered to the ex­tent that an­a­lysts pre­dicted. This is due to the un­yield­ing strength and re­silience that cer­tain sec­tors con­tinue to pos­sess within Cyprus.

In spite of the cur­rent chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, many job va­can­cies across the is­land con­tinue to be filled. The for­eign ex­change sec­tor is par­tic­u­larly flour­ish­ing and forex is cur­rently the largest re­cruit­ment sec­tor over­all, with 27% of GRS’ job va­can­cies be­ing filled in forex.

This sec­tor has ex­pe­ri­enced un­prece­dented growth over the last decade. In 2010, 10% of all avail­able va­can­cies were re­cruited in the forex sec­tor and as the in­dus­try grew, more and more va­can­cies were filled. Grad­u­ally this fig­ure rose to 11.2% in 2011 and 33.45% in 2012, peak­ing to 49% in 2013.

Another re­silient sec­tor that con­trib­utes heav­ily to Cyprus’ econ­omy is the pro­fes­sional ser­vices sec­tor, and this is a very dom­i­nant area of re­cruit­ing ac­tiv­ity at GRS. In 2014, the company filled 25% of va­can­cies in the pro­fes­sional ser­vice sec­tor, com­pared with just 16% in 2013 due to the im­pact of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. In pre­vi­ous years, this fig­ure re­mained high at 31% in 2010, 34% in 2011 and 27% in 2012.

Cyprus re­mains an at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion for off­shore company for­ma­tion and company reg­is­tra­tions in are still on the rise. Cyprus is a highly tax-ef­fec­tive lo­ca­tion for es­tab­lish­ing business, with one of the low­est cor­po­rate tax rates in Europe (12.5%) as well as count­less dou­ble tax­a­tion agree­ments and tax ex­emp­tions. Through­out the past ten months, the num­ber of company reg­is­tra­tions in Cyprus has in­creased on a month by month ba­sis, with re­ports show­ing that 919 ap­pli­ca­tions for company reg­is­tra­tion were made in Septem­ber 2014 com­pared with 798 in Septem­ber 2013.

As more com­pa­nies con­tinue to be­come regis­tered in Cyprus, so too does de­mand for ad­min­is­tra­tion through au­dit­ing, ac­count­ing, le­gal and cor­po­rate ser­vices. Speak­ing on the mat­ter, GRS co-founder and di­rec­tor, Donna Stephen­son stated: “The pro­fes­sional ser­vices sec­tor is a key growth area that has played a lead­ing role in shap­ing eco­nomic growth for the past two decades. This sec­tor con­tin­ues to drive growth in Cyprus and pro­vide plenty of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties is­land­wide”.

She con­tin­ued: “We have a very strong data­base of pro­fes­sional support staff that is reg­u­larly re­cruited to th­ese firms, in­clud­ing ac­coun­tants of ev­ery level, lawyers, cor­po­rate as­sis­tants, ad­min­is­tra­tors and book­keep­ers.”

Pro­vided that Cyprus re­mains an at­trac­tive


for company for­ma­tion and com­pa­nies con­tinue to es­tab­lish en­ti­tles here, pro­fes­sional ser­vices re­quire­ments will con­tinue to be in high de­mand, which will in turn cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties and have a pos­i­tive im­pact on hir­ing trends, she added.

Other sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas that are show­ing promis­ing signs of growth in­clude the oil and gas sec­tor. Although oil and gas ex­plo­ration in Cyprus is in its in­fancy, rapid changes in the mar­ket are pre­sent­ing height­ened em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, and a num­ber of ma­jor oil and gas com­pa­nies have al­ready es­tab­lished base on the is­land.

GRS is al­ready plac­ing in­di­vid­u­als into place­ments within this sec­tor and is a key player in meet­ing a com­plete range of Cyprus re­cruit­ment needs – in­clud­ing the re­quire­ment of tem­po­rary work­ers. Ear­lier this year, the company was is­sued with Cyprus’ first tem­po­rary worker li­cense and is now in a unique po­si­tion to pro­vide tem­po­rary em­ploy­ees to its Cyprus­based clients.

“The flex­i­bil­ity now of­fered through tem­po­rary re­cruit­ment op­tions to clients both in the oil and gas sec­tor and the econ­omy as a whole gives em­ploy­ers a wider scope of op­tions when con­sid­er­ing hir­ing per­son­nel, whether for a tem­po­rary in­crease in work­load, spe­cific projects, to cover sick­ness or ma­ter­nity or sim­ply so that new staff don’t ap­pear on your pay­roll,” said Steve Slo­combe, GRS co-founder and di­rec­tor.

“Us­ing tem­po­rary em­ploy­ees en­ables em­ploy­ers to es­sen­tially ‘try be­fore you buy’ which in un­cer­tain eco­nomic times gives ab­so­lute flex­i­bil­ity in the plan­ning and cost­ing of hir­ing new per­son­nel”, he added.

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