My weather barometer is forecasting rain, the hosepipe ban is in force and we are all secretly harking back to another time (when the sun shone and credit crunches were unheard of). What would an alien landing on earth today be thinking? Possibly that everyone (consumer, company or country) was either on strike, tightly regulated or broke. A few years ago it all felt very different.
Nowadays company leaders looking for an excuse to sit on their hands can find plenty and some are doing so. However the competitive landscape is changing rapidly driven by geographical shifts, technology advancements and Regulatory pressures. The further challenge is to meet these opportunities on a limited budget and with little foresight of what the future holds.
Against the Regulatory backdrop words such as MiFiD, Solvency II, Dodd Frank, Fatca RDR and the rest are becoming household names (just as Robert Peston nasally worked his way into the national consciousness in 2008). Implementation dates and requirements slip but everyone is playing ball with the FSA. Companies which have had a good recession are revamping tired technology platforms and seizing on the Regulatory change to create a potential competitive advantage.
The “nice to have” projects are still in the pipeline awaiting economic and political stability and who knows when that will happen. No need to mention Euro crises or French elections here, let alone phone hacking. No one predicts a return to normality in 2012 and many leaders that i speak to dread the impact of the Jubilee and the Olympics on their businesses.
And despite this what was the effect of all this on hiring in Q1 2012? As the Head of Recruitment at one large European Investment Bank told me – this year we saw the lowest level of resignations that we have ever seen and we also seem to be the only bank that is hiring (not quite true). He went on to describe his targets for direct hiring, the new technologies and even “old” technologies (such as Linked In) they use and the internal mobility they encourage. Fancy a move from Corporate Finance into Compliance or perhaps into recruitment anyone?
Undoubtedly times are tough but the companies leading the way are hiring, albeit selectively. To find the specialist skills they are using specialist recruiters (like Venquis). After all we know the people in our market and can respond quickly to our client needs.
As for us at Venquis, we aren’t sitting on our hands. In 12 months we have grown to a headcount of 18, a turnover of £4 million and have a growing list of loyal, industry leading clients.
And its not all about Regulatory or technology change either; Our Energy team are seeing demand for project managers on projects integrating renewable energy sources into existing asset portfolios. Data Management occupies a special place in the hearts of our Insurance and Banking teams and the arrival of the mobile operators in the banking world creates further competition...
As i said the companies that are leading the way are recruiting.