With BREXIT still being defined and causing some uncertainty, it was no surprise that with the US election came further de-stabilisation and various levels of hiring paralysis as financial services companies sought to make sure their house was in order first. However, moving into December hiring in projects and change picked up with some of the big banks ending their hiring freeze as well as Asset Management and hedge fund clients.
The contract market has been a very difficult one throughout 2016 with a lot of ups and downs; however, we have definitely seen an increase in the hiring demands towards the end of the year, which is looking positive for the beginning of 2017.
Data projects continued to dominate hiring requirements with a focus on improving the quality and governance. The distribution projects also continued to require further resourcing capacity. Candidates that were most highly prized were those with CRM experience. This is as asset managers are trying to differentiate their offering through the quality of service they offer.
Business Analysts and Project Managers in this space often had multiple roles that they could choose from. With further regulatory delays, there was less need for candidates managing the usual MiFID 2 or PRIIPS, instead it fell to less well know regulatory needs to pick up the demand such as SMRC. Additionally, many of our clients have showed a great interest in candidates that display not just the specific technical skills for the roles but also excellent stakeholder management and process improvement expertise.
In terms of the level of experience, we had a number of mid-level Business Analyst positions for candidates with 3-5 years of experience for roles in both Asset Management and Investment Banking. Clients that were hiring on a permanent basis had to compete for those candidates as the majority were also in processes for similar contract positions which were offering much higher income. It was therefore, the most competitive market with candidates and often came down to the salary and the daily rates on offer as candidates showed a tendency to prefer the roles that were offering a higher pay.
Projects and change recruitment has already started strongly bucking the usual January trend. The market looks extremely positive and we can see this only continuing as regulatory deadlines for PRIPPS and MiFID have just one year left.
Distribution projects focused on client journeys and improving the over-all experience of the client will be a high priority therefore, candidates with experience in this space will be in high demand.
With BREXIT hopefully being defined by the spring, we expect project teams start to be formulated in expectation of having to do a gap analysis.