Balance Recruitment releases final quarter market update
The final quarter period of 2017 saw an anticipated increase in demand for legal finance and finance systems staff, with requirements even coming through between the Christmas and new year period, ensuring that our team have already got off to a busy start in 2018.
The Q4 period capped off a steady 2017, during which we saw a consistent level of demand arising across our client base, both in the UK and overseas. The most notable new trend was the rapid increase in demand for staff within Pricing teams, with a host of large firms scaling up or introducing new teams to implement pricing strategy and to cope with operational workload.
Finance Systems requirements have also taken up a sizeable share of our time during 2017, with firms developing more sophisticated business intelligence tools and with a host of new implementation projects underway or on the near horizon. Our 2017 Finance Systems Market Analysis report, published in the summer, highlighted the challenges around resourcing for these teams, encouraging firms to consider alternatively hiring strategies, including the creation of more entry level roles and/or appointing talented systems specialists from other industry backgrounds.
Throughout the year we saw demand across all areas of the legal finance and finance systems functions, with appointments made at CFO and Finance Director level, and further success with overseas placements.
As ever with recruitment however, there are always challenges! Beyond just the challenge of identifying talented individuals in disciplines short of experience, we’ve seen too many firms miss out on their preferred candidates during 2017 for reasons that were avoidable. Delays in moving through the early stages of the recruitment processes has been the #1 obstacle, but we’ve also seen a number firms deliberate for too long over preferred candidates when they’ve not had a wide enough selection of suitable applicants entering a process.
Looking ahead, Q1 looks set to get off to a flyer, with January already seeing an immediate spike in new requirements reaching our team. We anticipate 2018 being another steady year of demand, with new and emerging teams balancing out headcount decline in other areas affected by automation and offshoring. We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and look forward to another busy year for the legal accounts community.