Recruiters in major financial centers say the hiring recovery in banking shows no signs of abating.
The London contract market in banking has “rebounded spectacularly”, says Adam Thorpe, operations director at Randstad Client Solutions. In the second quarter, his firm experienced a three-fold increase in temporary vacancies compared with last year. “It was our busiest quarter for temp roles in five years,” he adds.
The UK permanent market is also bouncing back, says Thorpe, noting a doubling in the number of perm jobs year-on-year. “This recovery is pretty much across the board – with change management, finance, operations and compliance leading the way,” he says.
Front-office headhunters in London and New York say demand at analyst and associate level remains strong thanks to a surge in deal-making and a push by banks this year to ease pressure on overworked juniors. “There’s certainly more work opening up for search firms at the junior level, and junior pay is rising at most U.S. banks as well,” says a Wall Street headhunter.
In Singapore, a “robust recovery” is being driven by frozen roles coming online again, replacement hiring as more candidates move jobs, and an uptick in growth-related hiring, says Deepika Devarajan, business manager for banking and financial services at Hays.
“Front office recruitment is reviving within corporate and investment banking, with a focus on North Asia/China-related growth. As banks bolster their governance functions to align with external regulatory changes and internal risk frameworks, roles within risk management and compliance are also seeing a boost. Technology roles, particularly in cyber security and data analytics, are also key growth areas for larger banks and financial institutions,” says Devarajan.
More hiring doesn’t necessarily mean recruiters are having an easy time of it. “Banking is challenged by all of the classic pain points experienced during a candidate shortage. This includes a limited talent pool, skill shortages, counter offers, candidates having interviews for multiple roles, and an increase in pay demands,” says London-based Thorpe.
Candidates are also becoming more demanding in other ways. “We’re seeing an appetite from candidates who want to secure a promotion as part of their move. On top of this, candidates are looking for a greater work-life balance, with flexible working emerging as a number one motivator for anyone looking for a new job,” says Thorpe.
“The fast pace of the recruitment market means careful management of clients’ expectations about the speed of the hiring process. A slow hiring/interview process and lack of feedback for candidates could make it difficult for clients to attract strong talent,” adds Devarajan.