The final quarter of 2022 was a period where talk was often centred around economic and political uncertainty, stemming from the ‘mini-budget’ back in September. The early stages of Q4 for the Contract market were dominated by the back-and-forth IR35 legislation announcements, with the result of Rishi Sunak’s budget being that the April 2021 regulation would remain.

However, even with the economic uncertainty, Q4 strongly resembled the rest of the year, with large volumes of roles constantly flowing throughout the quarter. This inevitably led to roles dragging on through December and being pushed into the New Year, as interviews became more difficult to arrange. We did notice that some of our clients undertook to hire reviews, which in some cases led to putting all processes except for urgent hires on hold.

Following the trend throughout 2022, the market has continued to be candidate-driven, with many candidates engaging in multiple processes and often receiving multiple offers. We have witnessed clients who moved quickly through interview stages or kept processes brief (one example of this was by organising multiple interviews back to back) and were able to get offers out promptly were those who saw greater success in securing first-choice candidates.


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Investment Banking

There was a high volume of Business As Usual roles in the Investment Banking Industry throughout Q4, below are the roles that we saw the highest volume of:

Newly qualified accountants or those with 1 year of experience out of the Big 4 were highly sought after, commanding rates of £375+ per day or £65,000+ salary. The demand across Product Controller and Regulatory Reporting was centred around hiring experienced candidates who could come in and hit the ground running.


Asset Management/Private Equity

In the Asset Management industry, we saw the following roles regularly:

Newly and recently qualified candidates were also popular with our Asset Management/Private Equity clients, while mid-senior roles in this space tended to demand candidates with relevant industry experience. We also saw several senior roles, including Head of functions and Finance Director roles, both as Maternity covers and as part of larger transitional projects.



We also saw a relatively high volume of roles from our Insurance clients throughout 2022 and that continued in Q4, with these largely focusing on IFRS17, with clients looking to hire qualified accountants to ensure they are ready for rollout in January 2023.


Project Roles

Our clients were also actively looking to hire Project Managers and Business Analysts throughout Q4:

Business Analysts in the Regulatory Reporting space were often expected to have had strong experience on the BAU side as well as projects/change experience. In the Product Control space, candidates who had experience implementing specific systems were required as we saw several implementation projects around these.


*All Daily Rates quoted are PAYE rates


**If you would like further information on rates, please feel free to reach out!



Typically the market is active in Q1, as candidates in permanent roles look to move after receiving their bonuses, and this increased movement often leads to increased demand for contractors to cover this.

If the forecasted recession does arrive, it will inevitably affect the hiring trends in 2023. However, history shows that contractors are often in demand through recessions as clients often desire headcount flexibility in these situations. Therefore, the contract market should remain strong throughout 2023, irrespective of how the economy performs.

Further to this, the appetite of candidates from overseas looking to make a move into the London market remains strong. A prime example of this is the number of Big 4 qualified accountants coming over from Australia and New Zealand on Tier 5 Visas. We are already aware of a number of these candidates arriving throughout Q1 and this trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of 2023, with these candidates often being popular with our clients.