Forex, services driving Cyprus job sector, says GRS
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.