Q3 of 2015 was a positive quarter on the whole in the job market. Both temporary and permanent markets were much quieter over the summer months of July and August, though going into September was very busy. We have seen some hiring freezes commence with some of the larger firms for permanent hires; however in these cases recruitment has opened up on the temporary side.
As with Q2, although there is still a focus on direct hiring, particularly within the larger tier 1 institutions; agencies have started to witness a marked rise in the number of roles being sent through.
Permanent hiring in particular has been stable, though we have been seeing less senior level positions as we get closer to the end of the year and an increase in the number of junior and graduate opportunities. There has also been a wider variety of positions on offer for candidates, as Banks and Asset Managers look to take advantage of the positive candidate market and fill positions quickly by utilising agency assistance.
The temporary market has also remained strong from the end of Q2, with many top tier institutions making the decision to fill roles with contract staff as well as offering permanent headcount for the same positions. In a competitive market this means they can cover a wider range of quality candidates.
In summary, Q3 has been a positive environment in the hiring market, with a wealth of skilled candidates on offer in response to the variety of positions available to them. The end of the quarter saw the market slow down slightly, with most contract terms ending and subsequent backfills being completed, however overall it has remained buoyant and sets the stage for a strong Q4.
Recruitment within Operations across both the temporary and permanent market will continue to be busy with clients continuing to be competitive, offering a variety of positions, with the best candidates being in the process for several opportunities at the same time.
Whilst we foresee a slight decline in the number of permanent positions available in December, when more hiring freezes could come into effect, the permanent market should be very busy until then. Managers will look to get headcount in place before Christmas and once any hiring freezes are in place the focus will shift to the temporary and contract market.
As Banks prepare for the next wave of regulations to take effect, in particular the new Clearing and MIFID 2 regulations, along with increasing their FATCA capability and preparing for the launch of CRS, we expect to see strategic hiring to carry through into the final quarter of the year.
In conclusion, this quarter has been a positive one for Financial Services and we expect this to continue late into Q4. The chief barrier going into Q4 will be on the hiring process, with firms with slower processes losing out.
The largest area of focus remains within the regulatory space, with many Banks and Asset Managers responding to increased regulatory pressure by ramping up their reporting capability as the next set of regulatory changes comes into effect. For this reason, candidates with strong knowledge of MIFID 2 or Clearing experience, along with strong structured derivative knowledge have been much sought after. These candidates will often receive multiple offers, along with having a higher chance of counter-offer due to their sought after experience.
There has been an increase over the summer period within the graduate recruitment space, with some firms even doubling numbers since 2014, offering some of the Banks more flexibility in sourcing the right talent. Candidates with tax knowledge around FATCA, CDOT and CRS have been in high demand this quarter. Equity derivatives has also been very busy area, with lots of hiring going on for similar levels at the same time there has been high competition for the best candidates. Banks with processes which moved quickest were most likely to secure the top talent.
There has been an increase in Reference Data roles across junior and senior levels, with some of the top tier Investment Banks ramping up on this side of Operations.