Currently we are seeing a surge of interest from candidates seeking an opportunity in-house within financial services. Crazy timing to move you might think? Well not really there’s more opportunities out there now than for years but what is happening in the market? In the first of a few blogs we are going to produce on market conditions in September we’re taking a look at banking and city markets.
So first of all who’s looking for opportunities and are their skills matched by the opportunities out there?
In broad terms we are seeing three kinds of recruitment professional with a city focus looking for new opportunities right now
So what is each group finding out when they bring their skills to the market place and what is out there for recruiters right now.
Well broadly one of the continuing trends of 2012 has been a hiring focus on delivery over strategy so our first group are often finding themselves in demand but to do the same job they are doing now for the same money rather than the role they want to do. While there’s not been a surge in hiring in the city small spikes tend to be out of range of existing in-house teams given how lean they’ve become over the last three to four years so when a new role comes up it tends to be demand driven and that demand is to fill vacancies not to get smart or think too much around recruiting processes or marketing in the large institutions.
This has a knock on effect too to group two. The vast majority of larger financial institutions have now outsourced the majority of their recruitment functions and while there’s always the odd rumour that a major bank isn’t happy and is about to bring everything back in house typically you see a new(ish) RPO solution instead once finance and procurement get involved in the process (think RBS, BAML, HSBC to name but three). The result of this is that the vast majority of opportunities available in the city are on the payroll of RPOs and that for around 80% of candidates is initially at least a major turn off or in some cases the exact role they are looking to move away from.
Now before you think (or hope) that I’m about to add fuel to the fire on RPOs as employers I’m afraid I’m not going to (and that’s not down to financial interest we actually don’t work with many!). It doesn’t suit everyone to maintain a role in a business which at the end of the day has to make a profit on recruitment but there’s a reality to why RPOs sit in major employers and tend to continue post review, for volume hiring, contract and permanent, they deliver what the organisation wants at the costs they are willing to pay. The difficulty for some recruiters is they want to provide a different solution at a different price to their employers and that is something few if any large banks are willing to pay for!
So what avenues are left for those seeking a directly employed role in the city? Well there are essentially two groups of employers left;
Both these options present occasional opportunities for the RPO recruiter seeking direct engagement and the in-house professional seeking a new challenge however competition is stiff, expectation of a very high quality CV with minimal moves is high (just ask any contractor applying for a permanent role), a second language is often vital, you’ll need several years in-house experience, probably a degree, and salaries are frankly often below the expected rate so you’ve got to be flexible to get the great roles!
And finally what’s the story for the agency recruiter in the city looking to make that first move? Well we’ve blogged regularly in general terms about this move aplenty so we’ll not go on too far but this is the reality. There are opportunities out there but… They are likely to be with an RPO not directly employed, the role may be a fixed term contract not a permanent opportunity, the driver for the role’s creation is typically delivery so the sooner someone can be hired at the right rate the better so it is typically the candidate with the most desire to transition who can start soonest and is willing to be flexible on salary who is in the strongest position so you’ll need to compromise or else you’ll still be thinking about that big career change in a year’s time.
So that’s our very basic overview that I hope helps you out if you’re an employer or a candidate right now but if you’ve got questions or comments feel free to get in touch or post something on here and let the discussion continue!
Next three blogs from us will be a general overview for candidates, a piece on international markets, and a look at how in-house executive search has advanced this year.