Market update – 2022 review
For many, 2022 really was a game of two halves!
Wow! What a year 2022 was. Fast paced doesn’t begin to do it justice and our clients, and our team, I think worked harder than ever. We’ve had a busy year across all Practices: Private Equity & VC, Corporate Functions, Sales & Marketing, Wealth Management, and Asset Finance – they all flourished. We’re delighted to have supported the Teenage Cancer Trust, to have continued to Carbon Offset and, as a pre-dominantly female team, to have contributed positively to the diversity debate. However, we have slipped a bit, our placement of female candidates fell from 51% to 38%. We will continue to ensure that we continue to develop diverse candidate pools, and I think when labour markets normalise our figures will improve again. We will keep on monitoring this, though. In short, 2022 was a year of breakneck growth for many.
It’s fair to say that 2022 didn’t end with the same optimism it started with. In the wider economy, 2022 became increasingly more complex as firms dealt with inflation caused by a world restarting, pandemic induced money printing, and of course the dreadful war in Ukraine. There was also a noticeable dip whilst UK politicians bickered over who should lead the U.K. Whilst we’ve seen a drop off in hiring, recruitment levels are still high. Whilst various facets of the Great Resignation are much talked about, I think the main drivers of hiring have been growth and retirement. I read recently that despite a significant amount of redundancies in the tech sector, headcounts at most firms will be above their 2019 levels.
Firms have been going for growth at a time many of their older workers are looking to leave the world of work. This has caused a talent squeeze and salary inflation not seen for some time. There are huge amounts of inheritance and equity in housing making retirement possible, but we also need to ensure that the workplace is engaging for the multiple generations who now form most companies. Older workers have the luxury of having the means to vote with their feet when work is no longer rewarding. If HR teams haven’t been working hard enough over the last few years, I think this will be one of the most significant challenges they need to get to grips with.
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No generation has a monopoly on good ideas, working culture, and values, but every generation may have a slightly differing interpretations of what good looks like. The challenge for leaders is creating an inclusive environment, and mobilising everyone to push in the same direction. In financial services, you also can’t underestimate how many people feel the industry is less dynamic than it used to be, and whilst many accept change was absolutely right post financial crisis, that the industry is now over-regulated.
I’m often asked what skills are most in demand? Well I’d love to have digital marketing skills right now, I’d love to understand Python, and financial modelling skills would be fabulous to possess too. I have none of them, and so I’ll have to keep batting on in recruitment! On that front, we’ve launched a new division. Whilst much testing and development happened in 2022, we didn’t launch it until 2023. It’s called Fram Professionals, and it focuses on the London – Oxbridge golden triangle. Working with non-financial services brands, Fram Professionals will place marketing, finance, and legal professionals. Our team is very excited about it, and we’re already interviewing candidates to join our team at Fram.
I hope 2023 is a good year for you, that it’s happy and healthy, that you get to spend time having fun with loved ones. On the work front, the biggest risk is doing nothing. I’ve worked through two big downturns now, and those who emerge the strongest are those who position themselves for growth and who invest during a downturn.
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