In our latest recruitment update of the year, we took a broader view of market trends. What is strikingly clear from our statistics (a 62% fall of IT hiring requirements between Q2 2010 and Q4 2011) is that there is a direct correlation between the overall economic trends within the financial markets over the last three years and technology hiring. But there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Currently we are seeing a strong demand for technology to support enhanced risk and compliance systems which is understandable given the focus on the risk reduction and planned legislation changes affecting the financial services sector.
While there is no doubt that financial institutions are struggling to reconcile headcount budgets, they are also facing pressure from the FSA to ensure that their risk and compliance functions are both resourced and effective as they gear up for new regulatory directives such as Basel 3. Consequently, while in 2010 the emphasis was on permanent headcount, today the focus has switched and the contract market within the risk arena is very busy. This is particularly true in the insurance market where regulatory directives such as The Retail Distribution Review are driving the need for contractors.
Against a backdrop of a more regulated and risk averse business environment there is definitely underlying momentum for technology to deliver the business simplification and efficiency necessary for financial institutions to achieve their ROI goals. Consequently there is every chance that IT may ultimately be an indirect beneficiary of the current downturn.
The compliance advisory market is very competitive with institutions fighting hard to retain their talent. Many contractors have been transitioned across into permanent roles. This has created a lack of churn in the market, which has been compounded by the ‘wait and see attitude’ as we approach bonus season, so we expect to see a flurry of activity in the New Year.
Laurie Boyall is Managing Director of McGregor Boyall the financial services recruitment specialist for *Change &Transformation*Compliance*Executive Recruitment*IT*Marketing*Product Control &Valuations*Risk