Andy Rogerson: My business week

Chief executive for the UK and Ireland at recruitment firm Hudson, on how the credit crunch will hit home
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The Independent Online

On hearing I worked in the recruitment industry, an IT manager asked recently if his job might be at risk "because some Americans can't repay their mortgages". It's a question that people in many professions are asking, as speculation is rife on where job cuts will fall this year. Some sectors will undoubtedly be affected, but the truth is that not everyone will be struck down by the credit crunch.

My friend in IT, for one, need not worry too much: the demand for his services will not fall hugely. Organisations are unlikely to cease spending on big IT projects overnight.

The real focus is on the City. Naturally, investment bankers' jobs, salaries and bonuses are most threatened by the fallout from the crunch. But across the rest of the economy, demand for finance professionals is still strong.

City lawyers, too, will be waiting nervously for indications of how M&A activity and the commercial property market will pan out in 2008. While those with skills in commercial litigation, restructuring and insolvency will be in demand this year, it is unclear whether there will be enough activity to sustain current staffing levels.

All the signs are that macro-economic factors could change quite significantly, which makes predicting the impact on jobs perilous territory. For example, how will human resources professionals fare if headcounts are being reduced? Arguably there is an even greater need for their skills than when businesses are hiring, but it remains to be seen how many companies will recognise this. Marketing jobs face a similar challenge.

Clearly, then, some will be more affected than others. The picture is not completely bleak, but no one should rest on their laurels when there is so much uncertainty.

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