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An insight to banking & asset management recruitment trends for 2018 so far

  • Publish Date: Posted about 6 years ago
  • Author:by Glen Roberts

Glen Roberts, director of banking and asset management in our London office shares his insights on the recruitment trends across finance, risk, audit and compliance that he has identified in 2018 so far.

Three or so months in and 2018 has been a slightly more bullish year than we predicted at the end of 2017. Far from the business as usual expectation that many recruitment firms thought would happen, 2018 has been even more challenging to predict with a lot of reactionary hiring and week by week decision making.

January was extremely busy on the recruitment front across finance, risk, audit and compliance with a surge of new positions coming through at the mid-to-senior level (c£50,000-£90,000) as well as plenty of vacancies rolling over from Q4 last year. This is uncommon for the start of the year when typically most hiring managers and HR are weighed down with the usual raft of planning meetings and budget discussions as well as year-end deadlines. The impact being that – in theory – recruitment plans fall to the bottom of the pile.

In February we saw the market take stock with many firms slowing down recruitment processes – presumably digesting the work they’d committed to!

Thankfully the market returned to busy in March and this has continued into April as firms enter the typical time of year when we do see movement on the candidate side post bonuses.

A key theme

One key theme has emerged across our specialist areas of finance, risk, audit and compliance recruitment: 2018 bonuses have been ever so slightly better than expected and we’re finding less people are willing to entertain a move. 

This is especially true at the mid to senior level where good people are being retained, engaged and motivated with plenty of firms investing in star performers - be that via financial investment or flexibility from a work/life perspective.

For example the average support bonuses in a bank have increased slightly to c20-22 percent and bonuses in the alternative asset management space are up as high as 50 percent or more.

Increasingly we’re seeing outperformers being awarded astronomical amounts as a means of pricing them out of the market so to speak. Counter offers seem to be coming back with a vengeance too for the first time in a good few years. We’ve seen some firms offer as much as £20,000-£25,000 salary increases or immediate promotions to keep people – I don’t want to bore you with the stories but there’s quite a few!

So what can you do?

Being creative and keeping an open mind is the best piece of advice we can give to clients in the current market. Whilst that sounds simple enough and is certainly not a new idea, having a good story to tell or a successful/growing business is not enough anymore; it takes a really juicy lure to catch your fish.

Spend time planning your recruitment process, create a positive candidate experience, sell the softer side (ie: flexibility, fun factor, adult culture) and on the other side of the coin engage with your employees and map their careers.

If you are looking to hire mid-to-senior professional talent within banking & asset management, contact Glen Roberts at to arrange a confidential discussion.