MIFID has been a hot topic for all our clients, and the operations market continued recruit steadily. We saw year on year growth in regards to volumes of vacancies and candidates, however many clients seemed to be prepared to extend processes until Q1 of 2018.
Talk and discussions around bonus expectations were relatively muted, and whilst there will be some organisations that would have had to offer guaranteed bonuses to secure their desired candidate, many clients were being particularly strategic to hire those without that expectation or who had already been paid their bonus.
Q4 generally remained busy throughout all the sectors, only towards mid December did some of the investment banks implement a strategic recruitment freeze (a trend we historically see in both good and bad years).
Lastly – the reflection of a buoyant recruitment market is the appetite for organisations to counter offer or ‘buy back’ someone that has tendered their resignation. Over the last quarter it was notable that the majority of candidates in this position did in fact see through their decision to move, which is again reflective of less uncertainty in the market.
In Q4 we saw a lot of roles from Asset Management clients in the data space at varying levels, in both reference data and data governance. This led to competition over the best candidates, often with those able to facilitate a fast process securing the top talent.
We saw multiple requirements in regulatory reporting; an area that was busy throughout last year and likely to remain in high demand. Candidates in this space tended to have greater salary expectations when making a move to another company, and were amongst the most likely to receive a counter offer from their existing employers.
Candidates with strong derivatives knowledge in the trade support area were also in high demand, particularly those with strong OTC experience as there is a distinct shortage of active candidates with the requisite skills in this area. Organisations recruiting in this area were encouraged to highlight the benefits of the role in addition to remuneration, which became a differentiating factor on a number of occasions.
Another notable trend was the number of senior requirements we were instructed on over Q4 on a contingent basis. Clients have typically seen the ceiling for contingent roles in operations at around the £150k mark, with internal pressure to employ a search approach for requirements above this point. However, last year we executed several roles at the £250k mark on an exclusive contingent basis, which indicates that clients increasingly open to creative solutions to potentially challenging requirements in the current market .
TEMPORARY & REGIONAL RECRUITMENT
The Operations market has had a busy year as the world economy improves from the financial crisis. Towards the end of Q3, the temporary recruitment market remained buoyant, showing no signs of hiring freezes within Investment banks, Custodians and Asset Managers, with the Investment Banks and Custodians particularly active in the run up to the end of the year.
October and November were especially busy, and as December approached there was notable urgency from hiring managers for candidates to start early January 2018.
There was a substantial increase in demand for highly skilled / technical undergraduates with a few years work experience, from data analysts to trade support. There was also consistent demand for candidates within the dealing and registrations space from custodians and asset managers.
Lastly, it is apparent that a number of financial institutions have been expanding their operations in Poland, Ireland, Germany and France, with demand for both local candidates and those with additional European language skills to based in regional hubs in the UK.
As we enter Q1 of 2018 recruitment has ramped up significantly, Roles that were put on hold over the course of 2017 have been reopened alongside new strategic hires.
Understandably with bonus season approaching candidates will be slightly more cautious in their job search, but as each day passes the volume and calibre of active candidates increases which is a great sign for all parties concerned.
BRUIN recently held an event in partnership with The 30% Club and Women Ahead, a diversity mentoring specialist at M&G’s offices. This event was held in November to explore the innovative strategies being used by firms to attract and retain women in City and address the challenge of gender imbalance within financial services, with over 100 financial services professionals in attendance. This event complemented another recent event held at M&G’s offices focusing on Women Returners for the Diversity Project, for which BRUIN is represented on the Steering Committee.
Please get in touch if you would like to hear about further events on this theme.