We sat down with Simon Eglise, Managing Director of APAC, to gain insight into his views on the global FinTech market, what clients look for in candidates, and where he identifies further growth in the FinTech market. Here is what he had to say...
In your opinion, what is the most important development with regard to recruitment in the FinTech market in the last 12 – 24 months?
The diverse nature and levels of activity in the FinTech markets has created the requirement for a high demand of different skillsets and backgrounds. There are disruptors in almost every aspect of the market meaning that the skillset for current or future hires is hugely diverse and somewhat different to the past. With a huge number of new FinTech entrants, there comes a huge number of ‘specialist’ FinTech recruiters to ride the wave. EC1 has been servicing this market since before the Lehmans crash of 2008 so by default our broad coverage, expertise and diversity puts us in great stead to deal with the requirement of a varied backgrounds from the market.
What are the major drivers in hiring for the FinTech market?
Effectively a lot of it comes down to financial stability or backing. Those that have secured PE funding or VC backing put themselves in good stead for steady growth. The investment obviously opens up the opportunity for hiring as firms look to grow their businesses. From a candidate perspective, it can be the opportunity to join a new to market proposition where people can potentially take some ownership in the business and play a more pivotal role in the future of the business.
In which areas do you see growth in terms of hiring / growth of particular pockets in the FinTech market?
A number of them, anything regulatory or compliance related (for example regulatory reporting) sees a lot of growth and interest, blockchain is steady and becoming a huge (if not already huge) opportunity and disruptor across industries, security related offerings and wealth management are also very hot areas in the market right now. Aside of this, SaaS (Software as a Service) enabled offerings against long standing incumbent platforms are winning market share and we predict a lot more growth to come. The more these businesses succeed and expand their growth horizons so their need to hire the best talent increases as well. So, there is a lot of growth both on the business and by relation the candidate side as well.
What is the most common feedback you receive from clients with regard to their requirements for new hires?
A solid network is a very popular and important requirement that a lot of our clients have. Another important and common requirement is a proven track record and the ability to wear more than one hat (particularly for smaller firms). Our clients are wanting to see the results that candidates have achieved and match those track records with the right culture fit. Small FinTech businesses tend to want more in a given hire as they may have limited budget for future hires. Ensuring the right hire couldn’t be more important and thus why they tend to have a longer list of requirements. This also highlights how important it is to have expertise in the hiring market who can search and provide the right candidates for the role.
What trends do you note in terms of pay and contracts?
Some smaller firms with limited PE/VC funding may struggle to compete with large salaries or heavy basics. They tend to now balance this out with equity or stock offerings. For the right candidates that can be a strong motivator for taking a position, particularly where they have a strong belief in the business’ future. In order to fend off the newer FinTech start-up firms, larger businesses have increased compensation slightly in order to try and retain staff.
Are there any specific skills or requirements that you identify as important across all / most of your clients hiring needs?
The main general requirements across all or most of our clients are a proven track record (particularly related to Sales or Product Development), strong networks – the ability to gain or open doors for new name businesses is huge, and longevity in a cv.
How does the future of hiring for the FinTech market look across the major regional areas (Europe, Americas, APAC)?
There are huge regional plays in every continent. London has been a well-documented hub for FinTech and VC investment, this doesn’t look to slow post Brexit. European cities like Berlin and Amsterdam are also seeing big growth in FinTech.
Asia is now also emerging as a ‘hot’ FinTech hub given the number of new entrants and movement taking place. This is happening right across APAC. Asia and Singapore in particular have seen huge VC investment and the start-up scene is growing exponentially. I have actually just moved to Singapore to join our team over here and I expect big things to come from this city and our team. With a strong network of talent, our pedigree in this space and our physical locations in London, New York, and Singapore we’ve become really well positioned to help FinTech firms grow their teams and enter new markets or continents.
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