The Reward & Analytics market has continued to develop and grow over the last year. To accommodate increasing specialist needs we have grown the team to twelve fee earners offering dedicated support to key market sectors. The team has experienced a 46% year on year revenue increase, and we are proud to operate as the market leader in this field. However, we are not resting on our laurels or reputation and are consistently striving to amend and develop our service to fit the demands of this niche and complex market. In the last six months, we have seen increasing demand in certain areas that have led us to re-focus our consultants to meet these challenges. A key example of this would be our interim reward offering which continues to evolve at all levels, hence our need to have three individuals supporting hiring in this space; however, the senior interim market has somewhat plateaued, perhaps with uncertainty looming around IR35.
Looking into this further and having spoken to a number of senior reward interims, whilst opportunities are still there to be found the volumes have decreased notably in the last six months and rates have stagnated. The big four have started to evolve their reward consulting offering and pricing structure to offer more commercially viable solutions, and clients are increasingly wanting more specialist skills for higher day rate costs, which often the candidate market struggles to provide.
The commerce and industry market has evolved steadily and vacancy volumes since the start of January have surpassed the number of roles we have received in the financial and professional services sector, for the first time in three years. This would buck the general trend of economic uncertainty that Brexit has caused, but it seems that many firms in the FMCG, Pharma, Technology, and surprisingly Retail sector are trying to get their respective houses in order and acquire strong reward talent.
The financial and professional services market between January and March was typically quiet as firms completed comp round and then launched into financial year end. We tend to see a high volume of vacancies from April onwards as resignations fly in post bonus payments and movement creates movement. However, this year we haven’t seen the hiring spree, with the banks notably being quiet with freezes in place across three of the five UK headquartered firms. Asset Management, Private Equity, Insurance, Accountancy and Consulting firms seem to be the big winners at the moment in landing top talent whilst the banks sit quietly navel-gazing. Indeed, with a number of banks losing good AVP and VP talent we are noticing that even replacement hires seem to be few and far between, meaning that workloads are getting spread across teams, which is never a good motivational tool!
The executive search space has been very active over the last twelve months, delivering record results. The nature of the requirements has been increasingly specialised. Private Equity firms looking for strong expertise in carried interest and co-investment; FTSE 50 organisations needing industry renowned RemCo experts, Executive Compensation hires with deep expertise in plan design, shareholder comms, tax ramifications etc. This kind of requirement for deep expertise means that often talented reward practitioners have sometimes missed out and perhaps last year things would have felt quite quiet for a number of folks keeping a casual eye on the market.
As we approach the end of our first quarter, we are seeing vacancy volumes remain steady. The UK is clearly in a difficult state of flux, Reward & Analytics hiring should remain constant as pay review, bonus, and regulatory submissions etc will always form part of the annual cycle. International Reward is a core focus for us this year with our continued expansion into the New York market and we look forward to reporting on our growth at the end of the financial year.
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