Despite a plethora of indexes and surveys showing that vacancy levels within financial services are at an all-time low, the reality is that while there may be fewer new jobs, there is still a lot of hiring activity – particularly within compliance, risk and product control. Measuring the numbers of permanent vacancies has little meaning – what’s more interesting is how banks are reworking their business models, evolving and changing and what that means for hiring.
We are seeing far more mobility between tier 1 and tier 2 investment banks than ever before because the rationale for moving is now completely different. It’s not about money – it’s far more about career development. The financial services sector is simply not the cash cow it used to be and while there is still a lot of money to be made, bonuses will obviously be based on the profit of the organisation rather than the individual. Skill sets and talent pools are consequently far more mobile and candidates are thinking more laterally about where they move and where they can get progression/cross training opportunities and stepping stones. Good people are really benefiting from this market as they are getting opportunities that just wouldn’t have been available to them before. Moving from a large team to a small team for example, may have historically been seen as a step backwards for a financial services professional – today it is seen as a way of getting increasing levels of responsibility. Strategically that’s a good move because when the market comes back they’ll be in a great position to leverage the additional experience they have had.
We are also seeing replacement hires as there has been a mini brain drain out of financial services into other areas such as energy markets. And as financial services organisations increasingly outsource areas such as risk advisory and consultancy to professional accountancy practices, we are seeing financial services professionals gravitate that way too – a move that would have been unheard of a few years ago!
Adrian Kinnersley is Managing Director of Twenty Recruitment.