Q2 Financial Services roundup and FAQs

by Heat Recruitment

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We are 6 months into 2017 now, so we thought we’d catch up with Alex Russon from the Financial Services team to find out about your most frequently asked questions, the state of the financial services job market and what’s set to change into 2018 and beyond.

What have opportunities been like in Financial Services in the first half of 2017?
So far, brilliant! The opportunities in Financial Services have always been very good but unfortunately, due to the recession in 2008/2009, there has been an element of fallout for some businesses. However, the companies which we are working with now are continuing to grow and expand, so have pushed past these difficulties. Generally speaking, the Financial Service businesses that maintain a good work ethic, have prepared for regulatory changes and conduct themselves responsibly and compliantly, are thriving. In relation to IFA firms, the opportunities within paraplanning and compliance are very good and there are always opportunities for these roles up and down the country.

What do you think will happen for the rest of 2017 going into 2018?
Currently, we are not aware of any major changes within Financial Services for the rest of 2017 and the start of 2018. The only notable change that we are presently aware of the data protection changes next year. This year from our perspective, has started well, we have placed more people than ever which is a reassuring sign of things to come.

Do you foresee any major changes in Financial Services in the next couple of years that will affect training and recruitment in the sector?
It’s possible to say that Brexit could affect the Financial Services sector over the next couple of years, although from the conversations we are having, no body seems to be panicking at all. We aim to remain positive as nobody really knows how this could affect us (unless someone has a crystal ball of course!)

Candle stick graph and bar chart of stock market investment trading. Analysis Forex price display on computer screen.

How much opportunity is there in Financial Services to keep training and gaining new qualifications?
All the opportunity you could ask for. The FCA is constantly changing and updating regulation and new exams are being written. This means that to stay a head of the game people need up to date with all these changes and keep taking the exams.

What would you like to see more of in the applications you receive? Is there anything that jumps out at you that makes you put someone’s application straight in the shortlist pile?
Primarily, we would probably say that we would like to see more qualifications, as this is a clear indication of their technical knowledge levels. There is a particular shortage of qualifications in certain areas and therefore a shortage or people to fill these roles. Ideally, of course, it’s great when we come across candidates that have a combination of qualifications and experience and these will, of course, be shortlisted and probably snapped up!

Are there any particular skills you look for when looking at someone’s CV?
When looking at a CV we primarily look for experience within a similar role or company, we then of course also look for their qualifications. Because we specialise in Financial Services, it’s incredibly important to us that an applicant has an element of experience. From there we believe that the rest can be taught and the applicant will continue to be supported. We do see that a lot of people have transferable skills and we have given opportunities to some candidates with some relevant skills, however, it’s great to find candidates with more direct experience, which would be more what our clients are looking for.

What is the biggest skills gap in Financial Services in 2017?
Throughout 2017, we would say that the biggest skills gap would be in the limited amount of people who have both qualifications and experience combined. We are quite keen to receive more applications from people with Chartered status and we are especially looking to recruit more Paraplanners over the UK.

Alex Russon is one of our Managing Consultants specialising in Financial Services.  Connect with him on LinkedIn here or call to have a chat on 0117 922 1771

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Financial Services here.