After what can only be described as an incredibly strong year for hiring as we close the door on 2022, it has brought many a question on what 2023 will bring after such peaks in hiring across the HR space for Financial Services clients both growing and established. Q4 brought a wave of concerns surrounding what was quickly coined ‘the cost of living crisis’ which had many wondering if there would be an abrupt halt in hiring due to ongoing discussions about nurturing existing employees before expanding, however, this was not to be the case. Within the HR desk at Bruin, we continued to have a record number of permanent and contract on our desks that sustained throughout the quarter, with still many of the permanent positions being worked due to division expansions. The continuation from Q3 of Reward still being a busy market, especially with companies having the bandwidth to start exploring more into new positions centring on the Executive Reward piece, Q4 maintained this level of job flow with already more of the same as we finish the first week of 2023.

Q4 also saw a big push for Talent Development positions at a senior level as clients searched for individuals with creativity on how to retain and develop their employees during an ever-changing financial state in the UK. The contract market felt similar to that of Q3 with the requirement coming along due to longer-term covers as opposed to budgetary restraints. From ongoing conversations we’re having in the new year, a similar story seems to be forming in that permanent roles are taking precedence over contract roles not only to remain competitive in the market but due to headcount increases and strong budget approvals. There was a natural lull in the market on the final few weeks in the run-up to the festive celebrations but still never to the levels of even pre-pandemic with many clients still approaching on requisitions well into the final days of December.

With the heavy expansion of many internal recruitment teams across 2022 we are seeing a strong focus now going into Q1 on how to improve strategies surrounding DEI which we have been only too keen to help educate and provide our knowledge on, something we hope to explore with more clients throughout 2023!

One of our biggest takeaways from 2022 as a whole is that we continue to see more and more of our leading global clients diversifying their candidate pool. They are no longer just looking for the perfect candidate in Financial Services, alongside these channels clients are welcoming the fresh ideas that experience in other industries can sometimes provide.



2023 is likely to seem calmer in comparison to what sometimes felt incredibly busy hiring space of 2022 but there are still high levels of recruitment happening across the board within all pockets of the Financial Services industry. With salary inflation creeping up in some HR sectors, particularly Recruitment, we hoping to see a candidate market that consists of quality candidates where longevity and stability weigh in equally with remuneration when a decision on a new role is made. With conversations about sharper HRIS and ATS implementations happening across many clients, we are predicting another influx of positions that have weight toward systems this quarter. The message remains ‘business as normal’ for many clients in terms of hiring, with many eager to start processes now the 2023 budgets having kicked off and we are truly looking forward to seeing what 2023 has to offer.


Secretarial Desk


A slow but steady end to Q4 with the lead up to Christmas with a higher number of live roles in the team within the EA space in the City and West End.  Moving into 2023 an unexpected job flow has boomed onto the desk with some clients releasing multi-headed admin roles at the lower end of the market ranging from Receptionist to Team Assistant across different regions.  It could be an increase in a return to office working and ‘in-person’ meetings which has spiked a demand for more front of house staff, and expanding teams on an operational level which has required Team support, as business needs for international travel and client visits return.


Role profiles

The desk is also witnessing a shift in the structure of the traditional EA and PA roles as EA roles begin to evolve and blend into more Senior PA roles with a Team Focus.  The desk is also seeing a trend in organisations restructuring their admin function by creating centralised admin support hubs managed by Office Managers and Admin Managers enabling the admin support to be more widely spread across different business units and increasing the capacity for Managers and Directors as their headcount reporting lines are reduced.  Although this type of re-structuring was gradually being introduced pre-pandemic, the post-pandemic hybrid work pattern may have encouraged a continuation in this trend to ensure cover and support is provided during PA’s ‘working from home’ days.


With warnings of the Cost of Living Crisis looking to bite in Q1 following the recent Bank of England base rate increase and the onset of mortgage interest rates having spiked in Q4 of 2022, this is not likely to adversely impact recruitment in the Financial Services sector in the immediate term.  Conditions in the wider economy may start to improve in the second quarter as the interest rate hikes and inflation slows meaning businesses may still continue to recruit into 2023.  Many of our support roles still remain open and more opportunities may arise as new projects are initiated to cover exposures in the market within Banking and Finance.  In particular, there may be some growth in the areas of Insurance, Risk Management, Compliance, Accounting and Financial Planning.