Overall Q1 has seen a steady flow of roles in both the permanent and contract market. However, anticipating trends has proven difficult in the short term due to the current political uncertainty. What we have seen is a range of roles within business change from Mifid 2 remediation work to small regulatory work on SMCR and GDPR. Yet Brexit has seen many firms holding off on committing to new change programmes.
Alongside continued regulatory work, buy-side firms have been working on updating their Order Management Systems. Business Analysts in this space are in high demand as firms are keen to find strong candidates with the experience and knowledge specific to their system of choice. As a result, even though there are many OMS Business Analysts across the City, each role requires a specialist skillset which quickly reduces the pool of candidates. However, we have seen that many firms are willing to spend the extra money on securing these candidates.
Our clients have been discussing process re-engineering work with us since the middle of last year. Some firms have committed budget to these programmes and are hiring numerous candidates in this area. Others are holding off in the short term whilst Brexit continues into Q2.
We have seen a skew towards Business Analyst positions over Project Manager roles across both our permanent and contract desks. The nature of these roles have become increasingly technical, rather than generalist, but clients are increasingly prioritising team fit as a well as like for like experience. Some areas where we have seen specialist or SME knowledge required have been in SMCR, SFTR, MIFID II Cost & Charges and also process improvement and re-engineering space.
Candidates are increasingly motivated by additional benefits provided as opposed to focusing purely on the salary on offer. We saw this last year on the permanent side but now candidates searching for contract and FTC roles are also keen to know whether they are eligible for benefits such as flexible working. The extent of the interest has been proven by some contractors being willing to take a lower rate if they can work from home a day a week.
Mifid 2 saw the inflation of many change teams across firms as the mandatory work required large resourcing. Now firms are revising their change teams, looking to see where they can become leaner as contractors are shed. This has seen an increase in roles becoming hybrid. There has been a limited amount of demand for Programme Managers with firms favouring the hire of Senior Project Managers who have the generalist experience to run portfolios when required.
With the current market conditions still uncertain we are unable to predict the short-term hiring trends, but in the long run we believe that the volume of Europe based-hires will grow, with more and more financial services institutions seeking to expand in Europe and having to define their operating models and change strategies. With this being said, we have already seen an increase in the number of roles and have been partnering with some of our clients to supply resources for the Europe market (i.e. Luxembourg, Dublin, Paris, Munich etc.).
It is important to note that Brexit has not caused an indefinite halt in the London market. Moreover, it is opening the door to further discussions about the European market more broadly. Roles are not being detracted from the market but clients are coming using us to develop their European offices. These clients have been keen to hire temporary candidates from the London market to supplement or rival the Big 4 consultancy offering.
We are seeing the demand due to our buy-side clients needing change candidates who have extensive experience from within Asset Management. As many firms on the ground do not have substantial change functions the candidate pool is limited hence firms are looking to the London market. This is a large area for growth as there is an increased in the fluidity between the London and broader European market.
Our clients have also been mentioning various initiatives and programmes that should start getting shape in the coming months such as centralising the internal Change Teams and streamlining their processes, which will most certainly result in an increase in the number of hires for change resources, particularly on a temporary/contract basis.
More and more of our clients have started to look at various strategies to help increasing their levels of diversity. This in turn will change the way they
source candidates, interview and recruit and their retention strategy. With this in mind, BRUIN recently hosted a breakfast seminar ‘Achieving EthniCity’ focusing on BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Group) representation in financial services.
This was centred on the findings of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review which highlighted the key issues affecting BAME engagement in the workplace. This included proposals to replicate the gender pay gap reporting obligations for ethnicity, estimated to be a gap of over £3.2 billion in the UK.
We were delighted to be joined by hiring managers, HR business partners, D&I professionals and talent acquisition specialists to share strategies for change and overcoming challenges to inclusion. Our guest speakers and panellists were Maktuno Suit, Psychologist and Executive Coach, and Richard Thompson, Head of Investment Risk at Merian Global Investors.
For more information on this or similar events, please contact your consultant.