Candidate Demand in a Mobile, Digital, Data-Driven World 2018

BartleyHeath recently completed a lengthy search and talent mapping exercise to successfully place a Director-level Innovation and Strategy hire within Distribution for a global Asset Management company. This is a summation of client demands and a snapshot of the recruitment market for candidates with Innovation, Digital and Data skillsets.

Market Update

In the fields of Asset Management, Advisory and Wealth there are very few true innovators and a great deal of scope for Disruption. When recruiting innovation skillsets, Buy-Side firms must balance the benefits of industry specialists who can “speak the language” and the Disruptive advantages of hiring outside of industry.

2017 has seen a rise of demand in the recruitment of Innovation candidates. Candidates that illustrate successful delivery across Mobile, Data, Digital and Distribution will continue to enjoy a range of career opportunities in 2018 and beyond.

Candidate Demand in the Digital Journey

The Digital Journey is prominent amongst clients that hitherto were conservative in their approach to technology solutions.

Candidates that are working with Digital and Data strategies will be those that future-proof their careers in an industry facing increased regulatory pressure, cost efficiencies, consolidations, higher client demands and lower margins.

  • Custodians have large teams of talented technologists working across emerging technologies with a strategic focus on Blockchain.
  • The vibrant FinTech sector is an employer of choice for candidates at all levels of experience and delivering new products and services without some of luddite and political environments of traditional financial services institutions.
  • Asset Management, Wealth and Insurance Advisory Businesses are at a turning point to embrace FinTech and Disruptive Technology to solve emerging challenges and Senior Management need guidance and advice on how to get there.
  • Asset Managers look towards the Digital lead set by major online retailers and Wealth platforms. Increasingly, Mobile solutions act as the "shopfront", therefore Mobile and online offerings must easy to understand, easy to navigate and easy to buy. To lead and deliver this transformation requires quite a different candidate skillset from Fund Managers' traditional focus on Institutional Investment.
  • Financial Planning Businesses have traditionally had poor technology solutions so Advisory business have an exciting opportunity to offer their partners scalability through automation and efficiencies to manage more clients with fewer resources.
  • Innovation encourages cross-industry collaboration. Data-centric strategy utilising emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics and Bio-Optics.
  • The rise of Bio-Optics links the Insurance industries with Health and Life Sciences.
  • Exciting cross-industry incubators group innovative companies together from preciously silo'd industries.

Maturity of the Digital Journey and the Impact on Candidate Selection

"We don't do that here…" The complexity of recruiting Digital Innovators is that there are few of them and the matrix of demands amongst senior Stakeholders spanning Business and Technology. 
Where does the role sit, is often the first question a potential candidate will ask and from experience in recent searches, there is sometimes no clear answer because digital maturities are not consistent across geographies nor business units. 
A successful candidate must navigate complex organisations to assess and elevate Capabilities but more importantly they must establish trust with internal and external partners to champion innovative strategy and drive technology.

The Expectations of Leaders in Innovation

  • Big Picture and Delivery
  • Appreciation of trends but also the architectural empathy to ensure that proposals are grounded within delivery
  • What strategic impact can my client expect in 6/12/18 months?
  • Examples of previous PoCs and evidence that they are delivering
  • The importance of data (life-blood of the organisation)
  • A clear picture of a future state Distribution ecosystem - automation, end-to-end marketing, sales and client cycle, CRM including AI and Analytics
  • A strong interest in Fintech, evidenced by the ability to converse about startups and ideally experience running an Innovation Hub or Incubation Lab
  • Strong verbal and written communication; senior executive presence and polish; speaks as a team player. 
  • A thought leader utilising digital channels like YouTube and LinkedIn to share content and engage with a wider network.
  • Has direct experience of delivering a pilot across Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, big data, algorithmic trading platforms or Blockchain
  • Conservative views need to be challenged and won which is something the candidate will hopefully enjoy.

At BartleyHeath, we are committed to ongoing relationships and adapting our headhunting approach to meet the exciting Digital, Data and Disruptive trends shaping our Asset Management, Advisory and Wealth clients.

If you would like to discuss your career or recruitment strategy for your business, then please contact me on linkedin, email, call 020 3137 3075 or 07852 595 777.