The Financial Market and Alternatives space remained busy throughout Q4, Which, traditionally can be a quieter quarter from a hiring perspective, with the advent of budgets, year end admin and bonus allocation. That being said we have been busy across the quarter working and consulting with clients across 2022 hiring plans and utilizing any unsured headcount for 2021 before year end.
The dialogue with clients across Q4 has certainly picked up, as attentions turn to 2022. We have seen a push on hiring in the portfolio manager space across global macro, equities and fixed income related strategies multi asset execution across electronic trading continues to be in demand with clients seeking trading personnel with programming skills. Hedge Funds continue to compete with banks for talent across the trading space , transferability of skills still remains high from the sell side to the buyside, we are seeing an increased inflow of enquiries from candidates in making this move and clients alike and this trend will continue into next year
As welcome in the new year, we do so with optimism, the market is still buoyant, with the fight for talent. Clients have aggressive hiring plans in terms of headcount Across FICC & Equities. Rates is an area of interest for clients, across trading and sales in London and continental Europe. Throughout 2021 the drive for talent continued at pace and we see the same trend going into 2022. The market has evolved with candidates having many choices in terms of opportunities, we are working with clients to ensure that opportunities are not lost and as an organisation we spend our time adding the maximum value.
Generally speaking the market rate for candidates have remained steady despite the shift to a candidate led market. Within the Mid-Senior to Senior range I seem to be having less conversations negotiating salaries as the candidates motivators are focused around growth and development. However, through the latter part of Q4 and moving into Q1 we are increasingly starting to hear the mention of bonuses, with multiple clients explaining they are prepared to buy these out due to the current fast paced candidate market.
Clients approach to Agile working has also played a key role in whether candidates would consider opportunities. In a hiring market as competitive as this one, it is important for firms to ensure that the vacancies they are looking to fill are top of the priority list of the external recruiters they engage. As a team with a consistent track record of delivery over the last decade, our team are currently in a privileged position of having a large volume of mandates to source for. It should come as no surprise that higher resource allocation will be given to those mandates which maximise potential revenue. There are three ways for clients to ensure that their roles are being prioritised: higher fee percentages; vacancy exclusivity and retained fee structures.
Higher fee percentages is attractive for firms recruiting on a contingent basis, and in candidate-short markets it’s important that firms are competitive with their peers and rewarding of the recruiters time in cultivating a network through years and years of relationship building in the market.
Vacancy exclusivity (where “exclusivity” = sole agency mandated to source candidates for the position where no agency search has already taken place) ensures that the recruiting firm can take time to provide an in-depth search of the market before presenting tailored shortlists of ideas, knowing that there aren’t multiple other agencies trying to speak to exactly the same people about the exact same job, which cheapens the brand image of the firm. A candidate saying “you’re the third agency who’s contacted me about this role” doesn’t make anyone look good, and can significantly confuse the narrative around a hire, which reduces chances of a successful filling of the vacancy.
Retained fee structures cover the costs of a recruiters’ time, show commitment from the client to filling the vacancy, and cement standards for both sides to be held accountable to during the process. With an up-front fee, the recruiter has been paid for their time up-front, and will prioritise the vacancy over others.