If you beleive that people are a growth accelerator, like Macquarie bank does and Janos Barberis describes in his fresh off the press piece on post Brexit consequences on human capital, then pay attention to those involved in Fintech.
Fintech recruitment space is not a boring business by any means. It is demanding, it is evolving, and it is also being disrupted. Efinancialcareers.com is the early mover (2009) who took the business online and brought a strong media aspect to it. The platform approach has been adopted from Fintech Recruiters, a 2yr old online global recruitment agency. The disruption is deepening however, in other marketplaces. Angel List is one example, of an equity crowd funding Fintech that has added a strong recruitment component to their services; coined Apply for a job & Recruit talent. Another example, of a startup with an early stage Fintech focus is F6S, which offers services for startups mainly focused on match making with accelerators, funds or investors. Matching talent is one of their services coined “Find a Job”.
The Fintech recruiting landscape is trying to decide whether they are in the headhunting business or the matchmaking business. Matchmaking obviously fits more with the Peer-to-Peer innovation. But the reality currently is that the matching process is far from being handed over to a sophisticated classification algorithm. The stakeholders involved in financial services range from established financial service providers, Fintech startups, tech companies getting involved in Finance, consultancies, trade organizations and payment providers.
From the navy to joining the pirates – Wall Street towards Fintechs
Banks are continuing to consider joining the Fintech party mainly, by launching incubators. The established consultancies traditionally into financial services, are more aggressive in their approach of getting involved in the disruptive technologies. The market lead taken by EY is being more closely followed by others (Deloitte, Mckinsey etc).
I spoke to Nicole Curtin, an established recruitment agency with an IT focus by tradition, who shared their experience of the European market. They confirmed to me that
the urge to leave the large financial institutions and join the startups is there.
There are two major clusters:
- People with technical expertise, like risk analytics, or IT know-how; that genuinely want to join a Fintech vision and be part of it.
- People from the business side that see a business problem and ache to solve it in a more entrepreneurial way or taking the investing approach. Anshu Jain, the former head of German financial giant Deutsche Bank, joined Sofi. Huy Nguyen Trieu, who just last week left Citi to start his own Fintech.
- Experienced people from the incumbents that see no more upside to the business, simply because of reduced risk appetite and broad regulatory restrictions.
In Europe, the German market is experiencing a great boom in the entire tech startup sector and there is
an across the board shortage of talent in Germany.
The recent Fintech Frankfurt boom is adding to this staffing shortage. However, as the German “market” is realizing this, they are shifting to operating more in English and opening up to importing talent.
Switzerland, a much smaller and more conservative market, is experiencing also its own version of staff shortage. The reason is that
the Swiss market need, is for a mixed skillset: technical skills combined with functional (preferably risk and regulatory expertise).
This has largely come about due to high cost of labor that is forcing startups to look for staff that is multi-skilled in the way described above.
London also is in shortage for different reasons. Mainly the tech scene has grown too fast and more than 50% of vacancies, is the market status right now. The
core of the shortage in London is in the area of “Digital” skills and experience for Fintechs that are all on the Digitization bandwagon.
The tech demand is in the areas of computer science and data analytics and digital marketing people.
As per Nicole Curtin, banks are also looking to lure Fintech talent in house. The problem is the graduates these days, fresh out of universities, include startups in their target list, whereas they used to be ONLY looking to join banks and get their wardrobe full of suits. They now want the Banana republic look (despite Jamie Dimon’s V shaped T-shirt style) and the opportunity to see the whole business and of course the upside and the joy of building something.
I see that the boom in Fintech has not allowed for the human resources dimension to adjust and adapt. Bankers coming up to speed, techies realizing the complexity of the financial business, and the market forces of digitization altering the rules as we speak. Mismatches, vacancies, and shortage of talent; is the state of affairs.
In Asia, the Fintech scene is in early explosion stage. There the need isn’t for IT talent. Fintechs are looking for bankers skilled at hiring client relationships. Barcaly’s earlier this year closed their cash equity and convertible bond trading businesses across all Asian countries. Efinancialcareers, reports on the career choices of some of the bond traders that were laid off. The moves were to the buy side or to Fintech.
Checking on the US, I spoke to Fintech Recruiters. Their business has been mainly US and Asia. They reported that mobile marketers, data scientists, developers; were in demand. Their web site info graphic showcases many insights on the current trends. For example, a Chief Data officer salary is on average Double that of a Business analyst. In terms of Fintech compensation, there has been a 6%-10% average increase.
The challenge they see is in the developer recruitment space. Job seekers are looking for:
“A job that can pay in Ether”.
Most developers want to get paid in crypto-currencies, as per Fintech Recruiters.
Matching employees skills with employers needs, but also matching compensation demands and capabilities. The Fintech Recruitment scene is being fed Fintech food.
Democratization of the Fintech recruitment scene
I searched for more Fintechs focused on the recruitment space, that is very alive as financial services undergo digitization. In addition to Angel List, F6S, Fintech Recruiters, that I mentioned above; I found:
The Banking practice, a UK based a 2yr old practice which positions itself as a online talent platform for financial services.
New Finance, the financial network operating out of London via Meetup, is also stepping into the jobs space.
Ashmore Stark, is focused on disruptors, innovators and sales recruitment; so fintech for startups or established firms with a specialty on sales rather than tech.