Recruitment firm Robert Half UK, which produced the forecast, has also predicted strong job prospects for professionals in IT and accountancy.
In financial services, 90% of senior executives polled were confident in their company’s growth prospects compared with 75% this time last year. The research found 41% were planning to recruit new professional-level staff in the first half of 2014, and a further 53% were looking to maintain current levels.
The main reasons driving recruitment were new projects (chosen by 63% of executives), new market penetration (61%) and product or service expansion (34%).
More than a quarter (27%) of leaders planned to add new IT positions to their workforce in the first half of 2014, with 63% were looking to fill vacated positions.
Redundancies were also predicted to drop – only 3% of IT exdcutives planned to reduce headcount compared with 9% in the first half in 2013.
Again, new projects were the top driver of IT recruitment, chosen by 54% of IT executives, followed by product or service expansion (46%) and IT risk and security (39%).
Robert Half predicted accounting and finance hiring will also rise; 36% of CFOs indicated the would create new roles and 55% said they would fill vacant positions.
Robert Half UK managing director Phil Sheridan said demand outweighs supply in certain areas and the most sought-after candidates often received multiple offers.
“There has been a re-emergence of individuals accepting last-minute counteroffers as employers try to retain talent, especially given the risk to projects as well as the cost of replacement hires,” he said.