As more companies embrace emerging technologies as part of their framework, the need for qualified and experienced IT candidates is accelerating. This trend is forecast to continue, and according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the number of jobs in the IT sector is predicted to grow by 18% between 2014 and 2024[i].
Hiring the best tech professionals with the right skillsets is becoming a wider industry challenge. In its Global Human Capital Trends Report, Deloitte identified technology as the most pressing issue in the HR industry[ii] – both to train existing staff in new software and to hire skilled staff to plug the gap in an ever-changing market.
Which skillsets are in demand?
We are seeing a huge surge in demand for tech professionals in the following areas: Data Analytics, IT Architecture, App Development and Design, Software Development, Business Intelligence, and Security Compliance and Governance.
According to a survey by ComputerWorld, IT Architecture and Programming are the two key skillsets for 2017; 42% of actively hiring firms will be looking for IT architecture skills within the next 12 months, while 40% want to attract programming and application development professionals[iii].
As the industry works to analyze huge pools of data as well as tackle pressing issues such as cybercrime, those candidates who are proficient in tools and software such as open source processing tool Spark; cloud computing system Azure; CRM tool Salesforce; bug-tracker JIRA; data systems Hive and Casandra; and networking tool Juniper[iv], are all in high demand.
What about Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is one of the most challenging areas for the financial industry right now, making candidates with experience in this sector highly sought after. The number of jobs in cybersecurity is thought to have increased by 74% since just 2011,[v] and Cisco has estimated that there are around 1 million unfilled jobs in this area worldwide[vi].
Although the industry has traditionally triumphed on-the-job training, as education providers play catch up with emerging technologies, some qualifications are starting to build recognition and hiring managers are actively seeking candidates with credentials such as CISSP, CompTIA Security +, CompTIA A+, Ethical Hacking, and networking-related certifications[vii].
The cybersecurity market is expected to soar in value from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion in 2020[viii], making this an enviably lucrative market for those with the right skillset.
Where is the banking industry going with tech?
Banks are heavily reliant on tech for regulatory projects, data center moves and system upgrades, all of which require specialists.
Barclays and Deutsche Bank are both working on proprietary central cross asset pricing, risk and analytics platforms of their own, these would be similar to Quartz (BAML), SecDB (GS) and Athena (JPM – these are known as IQPs or Institutional Quant Platforms[ix]. In the past many banks have ‘gone it alone’, building their own platform, but this is no longer considered economical, and many firms are now looking to attract independent contractors and specialist consultants instead.
What is the solution?
Contractor vacancies are one of the first indicators of an uptick in the market. At the other end of the spectrum, when an industry is stagnant, the need for contractors tends to decline. This applies to all industries, but is particularly prominent in the financial technology and cybersecurity sectors, which are now reliant on contractors more than ever.
Forgoing permanent staff for more flexible consultants means you can acquire niche skills for a particular short-term project without making the long-term commitment or investment associated with a permanent hire.
Where can we help?
With the recruitment industry estimating that there are four roles advertised for every developer[x], the number of available jobs is not an issue. However, finding the perfect fit is. In our experience here at Selby Jennings and Glocomms, the best candidates are often passive but our strong network of contacts within the financial sector enables us to cherry pick individuals for specific roles. We can offer solutions for both temporary and permanent positions.
Internal hiring teams may also face difficulties when evaluating experienced, technical candidates at interview – yet another area in which a specialist recruiter can add real value. Not only can they assess candidates on their technical abilities but also find the right personality that will thrive in the existing company culture.