I happen to be very glad that our consultants have enjoyed their holidays as already it looks like it is shaping up to be a very busy autumn.The sheer number of positions available is encouraging and anyone whose career is in a rut should shop around to enhance their prospects. In addition, there is also a definite trend among those in the financial sector to pay more attention to work/life balance issues and we are seeing more and more candidates for whom reducing commuting times is now a real issue. But changing firm or role is not an easy decision, even when opportunities are plentiful, and we are urging recruiters and candidates alike not to rush into the first seemingly suitable match of candidate and position that presents itself. It is key for organisations to understand that when replacing staff, it is not always a case of replacing like for like. Companies need to consider the value they require that individual to be able to add to the business. There is also the composition of the team they will be working with to be considered. Identifying the right job and candidate specification up front is key to the success of the exercise and organisations must ensure that their recruitment partners are completely au fait with their business ethos and growth plans. Even in a booming market, it is not just finding candidates that counts but finding the best fit. Cultural fit has become a huge part of recruiting in recent years, with organi-sations putting greater emphasis on employing individuals who culturally suit the environment than on those who have a specific skill set. Although lifestyle issues are critical, that is not to say that salary levels can be left out of the total equation. Companies are becoming more realistic about paying a premium to get an individual who will make a real difference, as opposed to one who will just do the job. Meeting salary expectations is of critical importance to attracting the highest quality of individuals available on the market. We advise clients on what they need to pay to meet their requirements. Sometimes, companies are actually paying over the odds but if they are being unrealistic, we tell them straight. So it looks like it is going to be an extremely industrious autumn period with a lot recruitment activity on the cards and while this is good news overall, it is at the same time crucial that candidates are not just shuffling from firm to firm. A good recruitment partner will work hand in glove with their client to ensure that they are not just filling jobs but finding ways to match and maximise the needs of both candidates and clients. It is very much a two-way process.