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2016’s hottest secretarial and business support trends

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07/01/2016

As we move into the new year, the demand for multi-faceted business support staff is expected to remain strong. But business support has always been one of the fastest moving departments of any business, in terms of change and movement. So what lies ahead for 2016?

Traditionally, companies looking to cut headcount without sacrificing key operations during a downturn typically turn to axing business support roles as a quick fix.

However, in the recent years, companies are now choosing to restructure business support teams instead of closing them down. This move means that a smaller number of employees are now taking on more diversified roles. For example, more secretaries are now supporting multiple C-level employees compared to before.

To stay relevant, support staff should ideally continue to diversify their portfolios and skillsets.

Active expansion in Chinese-based investment banks

On the China front, Chinese-based investment banks and securities firms have recently been very active in growing their businesses and expanding team sizes, due in part to the country’s rapid growth. This expansion includes strengthening legal and compliance teams through active recruitment to keep in line with tighter internal regulatory compliances following 2008’s financial crisis.

Still, recruitment is expected to be slightly restrained as many investment banks are still recovering from the downturn.

For 2016, we expect companies to take a more replacement-focused approach, with a limited number of new headcount available. Support departments will also be downsized to align with the economy’s effects. This approach will create a high discrepancy between supply and demand, resulting in a surplus of available candidates in the market.

Summary: 
As we move into the new year, the demand for multi-faceted business support staff is expected to remain strong. But business support has always been one of the fastest moving departments of any business, in terms of change and movement. So what lies ahead for 2016?