Q3 saw a continuation of many of the trends we had seen in Q2; process re-engineering, Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence still prominent in the market. Firms are particularly interested in the implications of using machine learning and how this impacts the ethical use of client data. The positive responses to our upcoming Innovation Breakfast Seminar are testament to how popular this space is across both buy and sell side firms at the moment.
Meanwhile, in response to Brexit, as a firm we have also broadened our reach to service roles for our London clients in Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt. Although Brexit is yet to make a significant impact in detracting the amount of jobs in the UK market, we have seen a steady flow of our clients looking to hire on the continent.
Role profiles have become more specialist and technical across the projects space. We saw very few permanent Project Manager roles come on the market. Firms instead have chosen to focus on hiring permanent Business Analysts with specific business knowledge; favouring contractors with strong stakeholder skills for the Project Manager roles.
There have been a growing amount of roles focusing on enhancing consumer interaction. Updating or creating new platforms to be accessed directly by the consumer have been key projects being undertaken on the buy side. Meanwhile, there is a continuation in the popularity of process re-engineering roles and a demand for candidates with automation experience across firms.
One change has been this increased demand for developers across the regions and London. Many places are starting to bring development teams back to the UK. Although they are maintaining the cost effective offshore centres, they are also keen to ensure service levels are running at optimum. One way of doing this is by having at least a portion of these teams in the UK.
In the regulatory space, the Mifid 2 wave has run its course leaving only a few roles in this area. Those roles which remain are focusing more on any GDPR work left to do. Brexit programmes have picked up large numbers of contractors after Mifid 2, with firms looking to assess their options as we move closer to the Brexit deadline in March. With SMCR due for Dec 2019 clients have been allocating resource budget for an 18 month project but with less ambiguity than other regulations, firms are well on track to delivering this on time.
In terms of what candidates are looking for from their future firms; flexible working is a key factor in candidates’ decision making. Across the board candidates are looking to have the option to work remotely a couple of days a week or have the flexibility to work four day weeks. Even slightly shorter working hours have enticed candidates looking for a better work life balance whilst wanting to work in a high performing firm.
The first two months of Q4 are likely to be busy as people return from holidays and promotions begin to come through. Again bonuses will be a significant factor in candidates’ approach to looking for roles with many weighing up waiting for December pay outs or finding a new role. This is something clients have been taking into account when creating offers.
In terms of roles, there may be a pick up on the number of Brexit roles coming through as firms who have not already set up teams look to hire. However, this is likely to be a time of reflection for firms as they assess their footprint across Europe and where the best talent is. There may be a call to further grow teams in prime European locations but companies will need to consider whether they can find the appropriate talent in these areas as competition will be high.