Investment banks have generally been cautious with permanent hires and continue to run with fairly lean HR teams in a bid to keep costs under control. The sector is still undergoing major transformation so where demand for permanent or temporary staff does exist, it is mainly for change, transformation and transition experts with practical restructuring and employee relations skills. Senior level employee relations specialists are in particular demand and are sought to improve processes and up-skill capability in teams and shared service functions.
Investment management firms have not been hiring HR professionals in significant numbers over the past year, but there has been demand for business partners who are able to add commercial value during major change programmes.
The large-scale restructuring work taking place within retail banking has led to a high demand for HR business partners, especially change and restructuring specialists with a focus on growth. Outside of reorganisation projects, HR business partners have been hired to support legislation, audit, cost reduction and outsourcing projects. Retail banks continue to look to improve their direct hire strategy in terms of employee value proposition (EVP) and process improvement.