Despite Brexit and the expected ‘slow start of year’ period, hiring of Marketing professionals across Financial Services has been steady, particularly into Asset Management.
Across both permanent and temporary marketing recruitment, Asset Management has been the busiest industry within Financial Services; the majority of hires have been replacements, which is to be expected at this time of the year after bonuses have been announced and paid. Some firms have been filling certain permanent requirements with interim candidates whilst they are undertaking the hiring process of longer term employees, as well as utilising an interim workforce for projects to support new products coming to market.
There has been an increase in hiring within communications agencies, with a particular focus on individuals possessing an understanding of FinTech and Payments following an influx of start-ups within this space. Other areas within Financial Services, including banking, have been quieter as bonuses only get paid in March and headcount gets signed off at a similar time, so naturally there is less movement in the first quarter of the year.
For permanent staff, counter-offers upon resignation have been fairly frequent and significantly higher than previously seen. In certain cases, heightened people management responsibilities have also been promised, tempting people to stay. Retention rates have improved by greater internal mobility being offered, opening up career paths at the professional’s current employer. This greater focus on employee engagement has resulted in fewer of the best professionals looking for a move as they are so well looked after.
So far this year, a significant pension contribution has been one of the leading benefits employees have sought, with some firms offering up to 20% non-contribution to pension. Sign-on bonuses when joining a new firm have also become more common, particularly if companies want employees to join and forgo a bonus with their current employer. As with last year, flexibility is still a high priority, and organisations have to accommodate for their workforce wanting to work from home or work flexible hours as well as offering attractive maternity and paternity leave.
In the current Brexit tainted market, any additional languages, particularly French, German, Danish or Swedish, have been highly demanded. The CIM qualification, accredited by the European Marketing Confederation, is always valuable as it shows a commitment to the profession. Across banking there has been a demand for candidates from a consumer background bringing fresh ideas into a corporate environment as banks look to become more creative and compete with Telecommunications and Technology businesses. Markets have been focusing on ETFs and Fixed Income and therefore individuals with relevant product knowledge or those with financial platforms experience have also been in demand.
There have been some noticeable behaviours:
Due to tough markets, some businesses, particularly in Asset Management, have downsized their marketing and sales teams to cut costs; there have been fewer openings as a result. Companies that do not offer flexible working are becoming the minority - Financial Services firms need to offer more understanding and awareness of their employees’ needs. Furthermore, there is a big movement towards focusing on employee wellbeing, with a number of campaigns, events and initiatives to raise awareness of health in the workplace.
There is a common assumption that Brexit negotiations have drastically reduced job opportunities, however we are delighted to confirm that there has been a steady flow of vacancies in Financial Services, which is only expected to increase in the second quarter of the year. Brexit is also contributing to greater levels of interim recruitment as the uncertainty drives employers to hire a flexible workforce - this is creating a high level of competition for the strongest candidates, thus allowing them to increase their rates.
To view available Marketing vacancies for RFP writer jobs and investment writer jobs, visit our Marketing jobs page.