Our latest Project & Change Recruitment Industry Update is part of our constant commitment to add value and keep professionals updated. We have compiled this interview with specialists in our team, to provide insights to both candidates and employers.
What has surprised you in the past quarter in the Project & Change recruitment market, both from a positive and a negative perspective?
There has been a marked increase in the demand for medium to long-term contractors. This is to deal with high priority initiatives. The two main drivers are first, the need to achieve greater efficiencies, particularly in order to reduce costs and improve customer experience, and secondly, in the financial services sector, to comply with new regulatory requirements.
The first of these is very much a result of the squeeze on revenues and profits during the economic downturn, and the struggle to retain and win customers. It applies to companies in both financial services and in commerce and industry. For example the commerce and Industry sector is driving efficiencies through leaner and higher performing units.
The second driver is the result of the imposition of tight deadlines for compliance with regulations such as AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive), and Basel III
To cope with these challenges, organisations are looking to recruit a flexible workforce rather than committing to permanent appointments.
What roles are you looking to fill now; where is the demand, and how do you see it developing?
Accountancy qualifications such as ACA or CIMA are often required for finance-related projects. For project management, candidates who have qualified in the Prince2 methodology, Six Sigma or Lean Sigma are much in demand. Contract work is typically focused on a specific task, so candidates with niche skills who have worked for the big four or niche consultants, and who have successfully contributed to change projects, are very much in demand at the moment.
What is your outlook for the coming quarter and the rest of 2013 for Project & Change recruitment?
The uplift in the contract market will continue for the rest of the year and well into 2014 as companies seek to meet the tough regulatory deadlines that have been set.
It is difficult to justify permanent hires for finite projects. However, we believe we will see uplift in the permanent market. For one thing, the economy seems to be reviving so companies will be in a more optimistic. Secondly, these regulatory challenges are not going to go away. We have already seen an extension to Basel III so financial services companies and the Big Four may see a need to bring in more project management expertise.