The second instalment of LinkedIn’s Recruiter Sentiment study has been published, tracking agency recruiters’ confidence in their ability to hire alongside in-house HR departments as well as also highlighting the trends they are seeing in the market.
Ten years on since Lehman Brothers collapse it appears the financial services industry has reinvented itself, but faces new challenges. The UK remains one of the leading global financial centres, but technology, new disruptors, skills shortages, and political events are driving huge change in financial services hiring here. LinkedIn says that over the last five years, 55 per cent of UK recruiters and HR professionals have seen a general increase in financial services hiring rates, rising to 62 per cent and 59 per cent for those recruiting for challenger banks and fintech firms, respectively.
The emergence of new technologies, and a new breed of challenger bank and fintech organisations has driven demand for new skills. Technology now plays a much bigger role in the delivery of financial services, with 51 per cent of UK recruiters and HR professionals seeing an increase in demand for AI skills, 49 per cent for cryptocurrency and 46 per cent for blockchain.
More broadly, recruitment professionals have seen the biggest increase in demand for the following skills amongst financial services businesses; emerging tech like blockchain (46 per cent), statistical analysis and data mining (46 per cent), network information and security experts (45 per cent), mobile development (44 per cent), and machine learning (37 per cent). Moreover, automation and regulation have led changes to job roles in financial services, as hiring for administrative and customer facing roles has declined, and legal and software job opportunities have increased, according to the LinkedIn UK Workforce Report insights.
Whilst the demand for technology skills is high, recruiters and hiring managers are struggling to fill open roles. Over half (55 per cent) say that when searching for professionals with these skills there is a greater number of roles than available candidates, rising to 63 per cent in the Midlands. The types of organisations candidates want to work for is changing too. Cryptocurrency businesses (42 per cent), investment funds (41 per cent), challenger banks (40 per cent), and fintechs (40 per cent) are the most appealing to candidates. As these tech focussed organisations grow in popularity, traditional banks (32 per cent) ranked as the least appealing – rising to 36 per cent in London.
“It’s positive to see hiring remain strong across the UK financial services industry as it remains a hugely important part of our economy – with significant workforces in most of the UK regions – this is reflected by our LinkedIn Workforce Report data which shows hiring rates steadily increasing across the sector since autumn 2016,” commented Jon Addison, head of talent solutions at LinkedIn UK. “But shifting demands – from both businesses and professionals – coupled with external factors like Brexit, automation and regulation, mean talent professionals need to keep pace with this evolving landscape if they want to remain competitive and attract, retain and nurture professionals with the right skills.”
Since the Brexit referendum, 49 per cent of UK recruiters and HR professionals have seen an increase in UK talent moving abroad for roles in financial services and 36 per cent have seen a decrease in international talent coming to the UK. The biggest decrease in hires from overseas has been from Germany (38 per cent) – rising to 50 per cent of hiring managers at challenger banks specifically – and Italy (38 per cent). Over the last three months, the USA (29 per cent) and Germany (13 per cent) have been the top destination for UK financial services talent moving overseas.
Additionally, the LinkedIn UK Workforce Report insights also revealed that UK educated workers are taking a larger share of new FS hires and the industry is becoming less international as a result, with the 75.9 per cent of UK FS workforce being educated in the UK (received their first undergraduate degree there) in 2018.
Sourcing and hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds continues to be a big priority across all industries – 68 per cent say it is a ‘major’ or ‘big’ priority for them, up from 56 per cent in Q2. In the financial services sector there has been more demand to hire women in roles at board level (44 per cent), senior management (42 per cent), middle management (40 per cent), junior management and graduates (38 per cent).
“The financial services sector has reinvented itself and demands are changing fast – to keep up, there are actions businesses and hiring managers can take,” Addison says. “Firstly, developing and cultivating a standout talent brand to reach national and international candidates with the right skills, will help businesses standout in a competitive industry where professionals have so many organisations to choose from.
“Secondly, we encourage businesses to build bulletproof talent strategies – looking ahead, long-term, for the skills and talent they will need five years from now,” he adds. “In a competitive market where roles are outstripping the number of candidates, using real time workforce data and insights will be key to determine how to upskill and retain workforces, as well as source new talent – whether that means targeting new locations or looking to different talent pools, including demographically diverse ones.”