The Human Resources recruitment space has continued to expand, buoyed by the continued “Big Resignation”. What we have been witnessing is a huge trend towards both retained and exclusive recruitment searches – unsurprising as clients continue to put more and more resources towards privileged recruitment mandates. The reason for this is undoubtedly that, as more and more potential candidates vie for the best possible positions out there, firms and clients in turn are upping the ante by increasing their recruitment processes.


In real terms, that means we are seeing increasing levels of resource being pumped into the recruitment space. Consider the marked increase in day-rate and fixed-rate contracts and candidates available in the Financial Services space. To then attract that kind of talent in light of their higher costs means clients will, naturally, seek to source candidates of a high calibre who can in turn justify the market’s increased fee demands. In conjunction with this, firms have as a result found themselves offering higher percentages across both permanent and temporary recruitment, retainer fees, and also negotiating exclusivity periods for search mandates with agencies.


Clients have not shied away from agency support during this time, but on the contrary: we have seen great partnerships, old and new, evolve and go from strength to strength during this time. Excellent roles continue to be passed onto the HR & Secretarial desk, and by that standard the current climate is sure to keep growing. The market continues to shrug off the effects of the pandemic, and subsidiaries are continuously emerging across EMEA and APAC. As a result, there is a particular need for mid- and senior-level candidates to contribute their HR expertise to these new and emerging entities. And across all levels the HR space continues to be buoyed up by the overall resilience of the Financial Services, and as such demands for great talent across all levels in the HR space will continue to grow.


Role Profiles

Continuous roles are emerging on the desk of all flavours. HR Generalists are in demand across all levels from associate through to Head-of positions, with Asset Management and Investment Management firms requiring new talent in all spaces.  Internal Recruitment roles are also in high demand at the moment as firms seek to become leaner and bring Talent Acquisition in-house for more common-place associate positions – we are seeing numerous mandates across our desk for opportunities to lead these strategies in either a Business Partner or Director capacity.


Payroll experts continue to be in high demand as well – as aforementioned, the market’s expansion naturally means employee counts will need to be taken care of. In relation to that we also are seeing further need for Benefits & Compensation experts, and again this will be as a result of both growing organisations as well as the need to attract top talent in an ever-growing candidate pool.  There is a leaning towards permanent roles in the reward space across our desk at the moment, but the trend for FTCs is still visible here with more project-based roles visible as well.


The secretarial space naturally remains buoyant, as the complicated needs of HR teams across any firm will mean that Executive Assistants and Office Managers’ roles will often be justified. More uniquely, we are seeing more of these roles emerge across EMEA and beyond with a need for an understanding of the UK market – as a result we have found ourselves filling Executive Assistant roles in places like Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi.



As aforementioned, Human Resources Recruiting will continue to expand as we see firms to expand in spite of the temporary economic shudders of Brexit and COVID-19. The current increased desire for fixed-term contracts and day rates will likely continue on for some time further as a result, in anticipation of new businesses and subsidiaries creating these positions to aid in establishing their HR functions.


Something to consider as well is the current trend for firms to set three-month notice periods – this in turn means that the recruitment process, regardless of its efficiencies, will be challenged somewhat as processes are made to gestate over longer periods of time. In turn, firms will likely begin adjusting their own recruitment procedures to account for the continued three-month trends. With this said, we are still seeing some discrepancies here, which we believe to result from clients utilising older benchmarks and seeking out immediate availability based upon that data. This is in spite of the current need to pace out these processes to match their ideal candidates – nonetheless, we anticipate knowledge of this change in the market will likely filtrate through to more organisations as 2022 progresses, with a tempering of the desire for immediate starters.