Following a reasonably busy end to 2014 we have seen a steady increase in volumes of hiring within finance from the majority of our clients. Trend and volume is still very much more towards the junior end of the market and cost remains the dominate driver for all additional hiring. Indeed, it is also fair to say that for most of the investment banks cost has been an overriding factor for the last three or four years, and therefore utilising existing staff capabilities has been a priority.
It is apparent that although a proportion of headcount has been moved off or near shored (and in particular much of the process and administration work), individual work loads and expectations here in London generally have increased. There is less room for average candidates and more positively, it’s a great time for ‘good’ individuals to shine, with the result that clients are also having to work harder to retain their ‘star’ talent.
The picture is fairly similar for the contract market. Firms are asking a lot more from their applicants in order to differentiate the top candidates, with first rate technical skills and knowledge a must-have. Many candidates are now required to have had prior involvement in projects or experience streamlining processes, with strong system skills (VBA, Access, SQL etc.) highly sought after.
We are still very much in a candidate driven market, with multiple offers , counter-offers and buy-backs becoming more and more common place. We are also seeing clients with drawn-out processes losing candidates to competitors, despite a shortage of high calibre talent. For those clients looking to secure new headcount, particularly for niche roles, streamlining processes is very much encouraged.
READ MORE: BRUIN Finance Q1 Market Commentary