Overall Q2 has been a steady quarter for job flow, with a notable step change from the requirements that were common last year, such as heavy Regulatory Change positions, to more technical and customer centric opportunities. Both Asset Management and Banking clients have been focusing on the transition to more agile methodologies to successfully deliver multiple projects, and it is the ability to effectively blend traditional and agile methods that is particularly in demand.
Buzzwords of the quarter have been “robotic process automation” and “process re-engineering”, which reflects the innovation and cost saving push firms are undertaking. We have seen a number or Asset Management clients expressing their interest in investing in the digital capabilities, and as a result we anticipate this to be an area of high demand over the next quarter. Particularly within the artificial intelligence and continuous improvement space.
Meanwhile, Brexit continues to hum along in the background although a lot of talk in Q1 resulted in relatively few roles coming through on the permanent side; this was to be expected and something we predicted in our Q1 report. However, on the contract side Brexit projects have been an area of significant demand, particularly for Business Analysis and Project Management positions. However, we have noticed that some of the larger Investment Banking institutions have been moving their BAU line staff into project positions and have been backing up the BAU roles on contracting positions running until March 2019.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) experience is increasingly what clients are looking for when it comes to searching for candidates. Many of our clients are beginning the adoption of RPA to improve efficiencies and reduce human intervention in more mundane, repetitive and manually intensive processes. The main sourcing areas for candidates with these skill sets are either from consultancies or investment banks who have already begun the introduction of RPA. Naturally, with most innovation areas, these highly skilled candidates are rare on the market, although firms seem to be willing to be competitive with salaries.
The other way cost efficiencies are being addressed is through process re-engineering, particularly in companies which have seen rapid periods of growth. Process re-engineering specialists are becoming valuable allies to both business and change teams, providing big picture analysis and trouble shooting
on processes which can be streamlined. The key qualification in this area is Lean Six Sigma with the coveted Black Belt as the highest level. Many firms are also offering the training in a bid to create a mind-set for process improvement across the business.
Interestingly; we have seen a number of wealth managers bringing back their in-house platforms. Not only does this have cost saving implications, it also allows them to manipulate the product to the clients’ needs. However we have also seen asset managers do the reverse – disposing of their technology teams and bringing in Aladdin to streamline processes and reduce fixed costs.
Access to, and the ability to mine data, will be central to everything that happens in the future of the financial services. Now that the data is loaded, and the toolsets are understood and available. SQL seems to be the most common platform that our clients are using and we anticipate future demand will be for the latest SQL Sequel system: Version 14 using languages C# and C++.
Regulatory change functions remained steady across Q2 as MIFID 2 regulations are at remediation stage, which is why hiring has been more BAU focused. However, the contract Business Change sector has seen a spike in activity with clients looking for operational readiness Project Managers, TOM skillset and general business change expertise. BREXIT remains the key pressure, with the majority of the contract roles being hybrid Project Manager / Business Analyst.
In terms of the levels of roles we have been seeing this quarter, most have been dominated by the mid-VP level. On the permanent side these are normally slightly trickier to fill as most candidates are contracting. Nevertheless, firms who have promoted flexible working and good overall salary packages have still been able to tempt candidates into permanent roles without offering over budget base salaries.
Looking forward to Q3 and beyond, innovation, process re-engineering and RPA will maintain the spot light. When it comes to the movement of candidates many are looking away from larger institutions towards smaller firms where they can be exposed to a wider range of projects. At the more senior end of the market, this drive to look at small firms is partly motivated by the opportunity to pursue career progression through the organic growth of these organisations.
Reflecting on last year, Q3 in 2017 proved to be one of the most active periods, although it was across the holiday season, hiring managers showed initiative to schedule in interviews and push through hiring towards the final quarter of the year. We should then expect similar behaviour in Q3 2018.
BRUIN Financial are proud winners of the ‘Recruiter of the Year’ category at the 2018 Women in Finance Awards, which recognises the firm that has championed equal pay and diversity in financial recruitment. BRUIN was particularly commended for leading change in the industry and providing insightful counsel to help their clients achieve fair gender representation at every level.
From a recruitment perspective, BRUIN has recently opened an office in Dublin in partnership with local firm Barden, to provide high quality specialist recruitment services into the Irish financial services sector. For more information on our Irish capability, please contact one of our Consultants.
We are also delighted to have been recognised by the Sunday Times as a Best 100 Small Company to Work For in the UK, and additionally ranked in the list for London.