Following on from our Q1 analysis, many candidates have continued to view flexible working options as a pivotal benefit when applying for new opportunities; often prioritising this over the salary on offer. With greater emphasis being placed on companies offering a strong work-life balance, the opportunity to work from home on occasion, has proven to be of strong interest to many candidates.
Q2 has seen a steady job flow, however, roles have been more generalist compared to the two previous quarters. Previous experience in Order Management Systems was strongly sought after by a number of firms, but although there continues to be a need for specialist system knowledge whether it is an OMS or a particular CRM, we have found this to be fairly minimal in comparison to the previous quarter.
In terms of the proportion of different roles on the market, there have been a noticeably greater number of Business Analyst positions opening up in comparison to Project Management opportunities. Programme Management positions are currently rare, even though there is interest from candidates. This is partly due to the lack of large scale programmes coming up and also the tendency of Senior Project Managers to undertake Programme Manager responsibilities.
Of these Business Analysis and Project Management roles, the majority have been at a mid-level of seniority (AVP – Junior VP level), with little at senior level. We have also noted that many BAU/Operations candidates are now looking to transfer their skillset into a Projects environment. There has been a higher number of candidates in business as usual positions who have expressed a keen interest in Operational Project roles, in particular within the process improvement/re-engineering space, as they see the Projects & Change and Technology space as more lucrative and interesting.
Similarly to Q1, process improvement and re-engineering skills have continued to be in demand, this is as a result of both Asset Managers and Investment Banks alike wanting to streamline processes to enhance efficiency, particularly within the IT and Technology space and many firms have allocated more budgets for these initiatives.
Q2 has also seen an increase in regulatory roles within the Projects and Change management space. There are new regulations such as Risk Free Reference Rate (RFR), FCA Value for money, SFTR and CSDR which have come into place and need to be implemented. Thus, the majority of firms have started hiring across the BA and PM space to help with implementation of the new regimes. As we’ve seen, the number of candidates with experience in the new regulations is small, however many do have previous regulatory knowledge in wider EU regulatory reforms, skills that are transferrable, allowing Asset Managers and Investment Banks alike to look at a broader the pool of candidates for these positions.
With the IR35 reform set to come into place soon, we have already begun to see some effects. In the contracting market, there has been an increase in fixed-term contract opportunities, ranging from 6-month to 12-month FTC roles. However, HMRC is still consulting on how to finalise the new legislation and BRUIN has been taking a proactive approach and planning for multiple scenarios and working with our clients to tailor to them and their process, to ensure a smooth transition for all contractors.
London is still a prominent hub for financial services firms yet we are seeing an increase in companies growing their offices in the Home Counties. These offices are often lower cost centres and create their own campus feel. Although the majority of projects and change roles remain in London, as the headcount in these offices grows we are likely to see an increase in hiring on the London border.
We will also expect that roles such as process re-engineering and process improvement will continue to be in demand in the run up to Q4, allowing firms to streamline further any processes that may be viewed as too ‘manual’.
We could expect a slight slowdown in job flow over the coming quarter due to summer holiday season, however, as we come to the end of Q2, the job flow remains strong which should allow Q3 to get a good start. Also, Q3 in previous years has been relatively busy in terms of hiring activity and we hope to see similar patter for this coming quarter.
For more information about the market or current opportunities please contact one of our Consultants.