The Plot Thickens for Projects Recruitment with These Three Challenges

Luke Skinner 17.03.2016

Activity in mass hiring has not been as buoyant for 2016 so far, and the typical race to get the best talent that usually consumes our diaries in February & March has not really transpired as expected.

But we have seen it all before of course; the recruitment industry is in essence a peaks and troughs business. However, lets think about this year and the obstacles that may be standing in the way of your busy year ahead. 

To begin with, January was by and large a very slow month across the board (this is normal as we all recover from our Christmas binges and excess time off) ,  but even more prevalent this year was the severe ambiguity in the expectations for where senior figures expected the brunt of the work to be. There are always the exceptions of course; Regulation was the talk of the town. Was this because it genuinely was the buzz of 2016? Or because most knew it was the only sure thing that they would be working on in 2016?


Now most of these are either half way through their cycles of regulation or upcoming. They will and have had numerous hires or would be hires going through the mill at present and moving into Quarter 2 the safe money would be on even more bulking out of the teams as the behemoths of the FS world begin to tune their teams to deliver the imperative projects of 2016. 

3 challenges we face that will surely dictate the market for the remainder of 2016.

  • Brexit: We will we leave the EU or wont we leave the EU? Regardless of the decision, like any referendum choice it tends to drag the UK through the gutter beforehand. We have seen a 7 year low against the dollar and once again we see businesses stalling on hiring until a decision is made. This is similar to how it was in the run up to the general election. All we know is that there will be consequences for either decision made and this could be the biggest factor of 2016.


  • Regulatory changes and delays: MIFID II has already seen the date extended after numerous conversations. The general consensus is that this only makes it more viable to achieve what the regulation is enforcing but some banks see it as an opportunity to put the project on the back burner knowing they have more time. This has certainly thrown some of the anticipated roles into limbo slightly as top tier institutions use the time wisely to decide how they will create the most robust model to ensure compliance.


  • Commodity Prices: The oil price has seen its stock fall from $110 a barrel at the start of 2104 ( 2014) to a now record $31 a barrel. Most big companies borrowed using bonds rather than bank debt yet banks still have substantial exposures that could hurt their finances. Analysts at Jeffries have predicted a 5pc loss across Oil and Gas would wipe almost 20pc off most major European banks profits for 2016 as some firms will struggle to repay their loans. UK Based lenders, Standard Chartered Bank would take the biggest hit at £910 million, wiping out its 2016 profits with HSBC next to line losing circa £700 million almost 10% of its profits. RBS Barclays and Lloyds would all incur between £200-£300 million in losses as well.


None of this is overly threatening but with the market as precarious as it is, it certainly would not bode well for this year’s recruitment plans.

In summary, the market should always be looked on with positivity due to being at the arguable epicentre of the financial world but taking note of the above topics would serve well to manage and target your opportunities with a little more thought this year. I expect this year to continue in peaks and troughs alongside it being an interesting journey. Having the right people at your side to understand your true needs will be crucial in making the right decisions.

For opportunities across Change management including Operations, Finance, Risk and Compliance be sure to contact our team at Morgan Mckinley to help navigate the challenges of 2016.

Luke Skinner's picture
Associate Director


Business Analyst - Manchester
Agile Project Manager - Financial Crime Transformation - Tier-1 Global Bank based in Sheffield
Business Process Analyst - Transformation