As the working landscape changes, financial services firms have to offer flexibility to compete with start-ups and FinTechs for IT and Tech professionals.
The first few months of 2019 were very quiet for contract Development recruitment, but the market has improved since. Part of this comes from the fact that investment banks have been driving to convert contract roles to permanent, and have an overall preference for hiring employees on a permanent basis.
Contract hiring has also been fairly quiet across the DevOps/Cloud space into financial services, once again with firms placing a much bigger emphasis on permanent hiring. The upcoming changes to IR35 has definitely played a role in this, as companies have started to introduce a two year rule for contractors and are attempting to convert them to permanent positions where possible.
Test automation has been a highly demanded skill set and those in this area, across both permanent and contract, have been sought after. Candidates with strong test automation experience have frequently been sent to multiple roles, with many of the job specifications having similar requirements.
Certain banks are starting to offer indicative bonuses, where they are written into contracts, in an attempt to attract top performing professionals. A lot of financial services organisations are now offering an element of flexibility, whether it’s the opportunity to work from home or relaxed hours, in order to compete with tech start-ups and FinTech companies where the typical benefits of flexibility are more enticing.
The working landscape is changing; employees wanting flexibility in their roles is now commonplace and if an organisation doesn’t offer this, they are at risk of being left behind.
DevOps - Kubernetes and Docker experience is highly sought after and tends to increase rates for contractors, meaning permanent salaries have to be high in order to compete.
Cloud - We are starting to see a demand for Google cloud (GCP), as well as more organisations are starting to use it as an alternative to AWS & Azure.
Test/Automation - Candidates with a background of building Automation frameworks from scratch using Selenium have stood out, and those with a strong development background using Java has been the preference.
Development - A succinct and clear CV, displaying a track record of having significant individual contribution to projects using relevant technologies, is key as it portrays the candidate as a specialist rather than a generalist.
Data - Organisations look for candidates who have clarity about projects, insights and business outcomes delivered. Data visualisation skills with Looker, Tableau, Qlik are demanded, as are strong Open Source skills.