Q3 is usually a time to take stock and prepare for a hiring budget push in Q4 causing a momentary pause in hiring, however 2017 was the exception, with clients working throughout the summer trying to fit interviews round their holiday schedule.
The technology change space continues to grow with organisations look for efficiencies, and ways to streamline processes and cost savings through robotics and automation.
Regulatory change continued to offer some opportunities as businesses find their pipeline of projects only continuing with GDPR and SMCR as well as EMIR 2 and a final sweep up of MiFID 2 for 2018.
Areas of hiring have typically continued in the OMS and trading system space with Asset Managers continuing to build out their change teams with candidates that have specific knowledge in products such as Aladdin and Thinkfolio. PMOs have been in higher demand this quarter as Heads of Change have been charged with providing better governance and reporting of business benefits back to the business heads. PMOs have been hired on a contract or fixed term basis – rates of 350 – 500 or 50-65k respectively for someone with around 5 years experience.
Particularly testing mandates have been permanent Lead/Senior Business Analyst hires as this is typically been the domain of contractors. Clients have been forced to pay higher salaries for specific experience with BAs that have SQL or niche product knowledge and team management experience being able to demand between 95-105k basic salaries. There has also been less movement at the top of the projects and change food chain with Programme Managers and Heads of Change being relatively static during this period.
The contract and temporary space has seen a key focus on IT Change where technical BAs/architect solution/TOM professionals have been sought by both Asset Managers and Banking institutions for various initiatives such as Transformation, Digital, Infrastructure and Corporate restructuring programmes. We have seen particular interest from our clients in candidates that possess Agile methodology, which seems to be especially on trend.
There has also been a continuous demand for REG-change BAs and PMs, for PRIIPS programmes or MIFID initiatives.
It is imperative to note that the majority of candidates have been in a few processes at the same time, which shows to some extend that it is a candidate driven market and clients have been required to propose competitive offers to attract the good talent.
For Q4 we expect the above hiring to continue without much slow down. We anticipate that Asset Managers and Investment Banks will continue to drive technology changes through; especially focused on Operational Risk and Contingency plans.
Hiring for Brexit programmes will start to be talked about more vigorously, with candidates that have experience of legal entity or legal programmes being the most sought after. Fintechs will start to draw in some of the more dynamic and ambitious candidates that are looking for a move from traditional banking. Therefore, the experience of a candidate through the process and the sales pitch of the firm can be a crucial factor in who they end up working for.
In summary, the Change market is expected to stay buoyant; we expect hiring levels to remain steady for regulatory hires in both permanent and contract recruitment and the remaining of this year to see a rise in demand for change professionals for BREXIT programmes.