Growth is certainly high on the agenda for both the Big 4 and also the specialist HR consultancy firms, and London still seems to be the main focus for recruitment in this area.
H1 within the Executive Compensation world has been buoyant here in the UK with many if not all firms looking to increase headcount and revenue. Growth is certainly high on the agenda for both the Big 4 and also the specialist HR consultancy firms. London still seems to be the main focus for recruitment in this area.
There has been a number of changes in the sector which has naturally had an impact, with Towers Watson going through the merger with Willis becoming Willis Towers Watson, Aon pushing the Aon brand across McLagan, New Bridge Street plus the rest of the HR Consultancy arm of Aon, then Korn Ferry Taking over the Hay Group – this has all lead to change within these businesses and a number of senior employees leaving. From the outset this indicates negative change, however new roles and new leadership teams have been created which in the long term could actually have a positive impact on these firms.
From a candidate perspective, there are certainly a number of excellent opportunities for experienced consultants and the main thing that is attracting them is good leadership, work life balance and working within an established team with existing clients.
There has been a steady flow of jobs within this area with all firms again going through growth, not only within the Big 4 but also within some of the mid tier firms. In fact, for the first time in many years we are seeing the mid tier firms actively recruiting within their share scheme teams and this has been UK wide rather than London centric.
Working with teams where there is collaboration between the teams throughout the UK, solid leadership and a good client base is attracting candidates to new roles. The regions, especially within the South West has shown rapid growth and shows no signs of slowing down.
UK FS firms are facing increased challenges and further regulations that impact remuneration arrangements and I believe that this area will continue to go through even more growth. It’s been a very busy time for the FS specialist with their main focus being on Regulations rather than traditional reward projects.
A challenge within this space is that there is only a small pool of experienced consultants with high levels of technical understanding of FS Regs, which impacts the number of offers made to fill these vacancies.
What are candidates looking for?
The FS space will continue to lead the way into H2, where we expect to see a steady flow of jobs. We also predict that there will be a slight slowdown in the Executive Compensation market especially within the Big 4 - but this is mainly down to restructure across the teams. The HR consultancies on the other hand are still actively recruiting especially at Consultant level.
Both the regions and London will continue to grow due to the accountancy firms strategies looking to expand their market share in this area.
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