In a job heavy market, Accounting & Finance professionals within Financial Services are tempted by organisations that display internal progression opportunities whilst senior candidates seek flexibility.
The market has been buoyant throughout Q3 within the accounting and finance space, across both our Investment Banking and Asset Management desks. This has been down to a combination of newly created and replacement hires.
Internal promotion has been common within the majority of financial services firms where individuals have moved on. This is a huge selling point for potential employees as candidates continue to be driven by internal progression opportunities when deciding on the next company they will potentially join.
Mergers and acquisitions continued to be a focal point throughout the quarter, as did cost cutting/offshoring - the subsequent redundancies of these activities resulted in inflated job volumes.
Effects of Brexit continue to be seen, with companies increasing headcount away from London in other major financial hubs such as Dublin, Luxembourg and Frankfurt. Opportunities available in these locations have included fund accounting and Head of Finance mandates.
The flow of jobs continued to rise as the quarter progressed; this was expected as Q3 is historically a busy time of the year. Investment banking in particular has seen record highs in terms of job numbers, most notably across product control and regulatory accounting. The main areas of hiring across Investment Management and Investment Banking have been:
Fund Accountant - With the continuing launch of new funds including private equity, real estate, infrastructure and credit to name a few, the need for experienced fund accountants saw no sign of dropping off throughout the quarter.
Regulatory Reporting - Requirements across both liquidity and capital increased. The current implementation of Basel 4 is expected to be the next focal point within this area.
Management Accountant - Organisations have struggled to find top tier candidates who are 0-2 years post qualified; clients are focused on those with experience in budgeting, forecasting and a commercial mind.
Head of Finance - Senior roles within asset managers and private equity houses have been plentiful. This has been caused by senior individuals looking for new challenges and M&A activity causing some senior roles to become redundant.
Newly Qualified Accountant - Newly Qualified Accountants from Top 20 practices are in huge demand as clients continue to promote internally and recruit at a more junior end where they can.
One minor negative to come from the quarter was hiring processes halted because of the summer holiday period. Senior mandates especially, where partners are integral to decisions, were affected.
Job seekers have had the upper hand due to a job heavy market, giving them the freedom to be picky about which roles they go for - certain professionals have been involved in multiple processes. As ever, career progression and training have been swaying their decisions, but we are seeing more instances of flexible working being the decider, particularly at senior levels.
Some areas have encountered shortages of candidates. This has come from companies taking steps to ensure they hold onto their best employees, as well as hesitancy from professionals to move prior to Brexit. As a direct result of the impending exit from the EU, candidates who can speak multiple language have been in high demand, especially with the amount of positions available in growing European financial hubs.
Recruitment in Q4 of 2017 was surprisingly plentiful, so it will be interesting to see if that is repeated this year. A big factor is the potential bonuses that are usually paid in March or April - those not expecting big payouts will continue searching, but for those with bonuses due, companies will have to offer signing on bonuses if they want to secure the hire.
The holiday period is now well and truly over, so processes will begin to take place at the normal rate again and urgency to hire will increase. Many companies will seek to get the edge going into December in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve for 2019 hiring.