Four key trends in the FinTech recruitment market

Monday, 30th July 2018

Guest blog by Ahsan Iqbal, Director – Technology, Robert Walters

Financial services is a thriving market, with a number of technology roles are emerging across the sector as finance firms realise the benefits of becoming digital entities and new start-ups offer competition for legacy financial institutions, by providing financial services at a lower cost.

With strong growth expected to continue, centralised in Manchester as a leading technology hub, FinTech is changing the face of the banking and financial services landscape, driving innovation, and in turn, heightening competition for high-calibre tech talent.

Tech skills and expertise relocating to Manchester

Manchester is now considered the FinTech centre of the North, with many professionals with digital skill sets relocating to the city. Manchester is now the largest financial services employer outside of the capital, due to the development of FinTech. Over the next 12 months, recruitment activity within the technology industry is expected to increase rapidly in Manchester line with the advancement of FinTech in the region.

Increase in demand for select skill sets

With growth expected to continue across the North West, concentrated in Manchester as FinTech start-ups emerge across the sector, professionals should anticipate an increase in demand for select technology skills over the next 12 months. This includes specialisms such as BI and Data Analytics, DevOps, Architecture and Software Development. As financial institutions go digital, Cloud skills will also be highly sought after in the candidate pool.

Businesses are increasingly realising the value of BI as a transformative organisational function, key to gaining competitive advantage, particularly with the benefits of transparent and instantaneous dashboard reporting. In this way, financial services firms and FinTech start-ups are prepared to invest in recruiting skilled BI and data management professionals that can drive business growth.

In a similar vein, DevOps is also a flourishing IT philosophy, which can transform a financial institution’s ability to deliver applications and services at pace and scale. Multiple banks, FinTechs and financial services firms now deliver software to customer to enable self-service for financial transactions and activities. As a result, DevOps Engineers, Software Developers and those with Architecture and Platform Engineering capabilities are vital resources to support and enhance this delivery.

Increased market competition

With the Manchester technology market saturated with employers, salaries across the region are expected to increase further as businesses find they have to compete to secure the top tier technology professionals. According to the latest Robert Walters research, this particular challenge is felt most acutely across the North, with 44% of employers confirming that they struggle with technology candidates demanding high salaries.

High salary expectations from candidates can be particularly crippling for FinTech start-ups whose recruitment budgets cannot stretch to the market rate.

As Manchester seeks to draw in tech talent to support the rapid growth of FinTech in the city, technology salaries across multiple specialisms become highly inflated in an attempt to compete with London, another FinTech hub where many tech professionals are currently located. An inability for firms to match the market rate could mean businesses in the FinTech industry to lose out on technology candidates who receive competitive counter offers and buy back propositions from their current employer.

Exacerbated industry skills shortage

While leveraging technology improves and streamlines financial activity, it is also now bringing new recruitment challenges to the financial services sector. As the technology sector is already facing a distinct sector-specific skills gap, this will be exacerbated further as new FinTech start-ups enter the technology recruitment market, particularly to seek out those professionals with knowledge of Cloud-based tools and open source software.

As well as providing competitive salaries, a diverse and comprehensive attraction strategy is key for employers in the FinTech market to reach both active and passive technology candidates. Employers engaging with industry talent on multiple platforms and distinguishing their employment offers from competitors are more likely to source and secure high-calibre professionals. Factors such as clear development routes, work-life balance and company culture will be key to accelerate the tide of technology talent relocating to the city.