We started the year by celebrating our twentieth birthday. As we approach our twenty-first there is still much to be happy and optimistic about. As with any year in recruitment, there have been highs and lows but the overall trajectory is positive. We wanted to share some 2019 highlights with you and have a look forward to 2020.
There was cause for celebration in July when MD Mark Johns received this wonderful message from the founder and CEO of an SME Start-Up Bank.
“I have some excellent news, we have been granted our licence! This would not have been possible without you – wanted to get some time in the diary to celebrate and catch up!”
We had been working with this FinTech driven company since the early days when its only staff were the CEO and CFO. We placed key board members with the experience and connections to drive towards obtaining a licence. We also supported the recruitment of the leadership team with a focus on experience and a cultural fit that included shared values and the ability to collaborate flexibly in a start-up environment. You can read the full blog here.
Step Up with Healy Hunt
Early in the year, company director Jacky Crisp post a blog about the inequity of background diversity and the opportunities that are missed by employers and potential employees as a result. She proposed the Step-Up scheme whereby Healy Hunt would facilitate the placement of students in a banking environment with selected clients for a week.
At the start of autumn term, a group was placed with a challenger bank in London. The bank had created an excellent, structured week of activities that gave the students genuine exposure to different aspects of banking and challenged them in a way that broadened their horizons and gave them newfound confidence in a professional setting. The programme proved beneficial to all involved, read the full report here.
Other highlights of the year included our increased penetration of the alternative lending market, you can read about one of our client case studies here. Our Candidate Journey feedback programme is also going well with 97% of successful candidates in the last quarter rating Healy Hunt as excellent.
It has also been and landmark year for Healy Hunt staff at a personal level with weddings for Natalie and Max. There have been two special birthdays; a thirtieth and a fortieth, and a shiny new grandson, for Chairman, Paul Hunt, was born earlier in the year.
The Challenges Ahead
We are posting this blog just before the general election which is likely to have a profound effect on the future of the country and could give a clearer picture of how Brexit will unfold. It is, of course, unclear how the election result will affect our sector. Investment banking has seen global job cuts and a slight exodus from London in response to a slowing global economy and Brexit respectively. The true implications could become much clearer in the next few weeks. Healy Hunt is not involved with investment banking and our key verticals in banking and financial services would be expected to thrive, whatever the future holds, as they are palatable for most political tastes. As the country looks to lower barriers to the rest of the world, we could see more banks from outside Europe setting up shop in the UK. As people’s career profiles change, alternative lending is also likely to continue its rapid growth and virtually every party manifesto stood firmly behind technology development of which FinTech is a key aspect. With our key verticals, we feel well placed to play our role in the economy that emerges under the new regime.
Global trade continues to expand despite notable disputes, including the one between the world’s two largest trading nations. For the UK, it seems likely that the complexity is about to ramp up significantly with Brexit as, in the short term at least, the country relinquishes access to several established free trade relationships. As with other areas of financial services, technology is playing a role in reinventing processes in global trade and our country is likely to find itself at the vanguard of this innovative wave in coming years. As the global trade landscape changes and new powerhouse nations and blocs emerge, Healy Hunt will be reconnecting with this marketplace. We have already rekindled our long-standing relationship with the Global Trade Review [GTR], the pre-eminent media channel and professional network in the sector, and are looking to be fully operational before the end of Q1 2020.
A change to the IR35 legislation, that differentiates how employees and contractors are taxed, will have a significant impact on our industry in 2020. There have been headline grabbing announcements about the end of contracting at some banks and we’ve already seen an increase in fixed term contracts and temp to perm offers with our clientele. The number of contracts has fallen away over the last couple of months. Meanwhile, there is an influx of new contractors to the market, most of whom are willing to consider permanent offers that they wouldn’t have looked at before. We are working with our clients and contractors to ensure there is minimal disruption by helping to negotiate permanent offers and moving relevant contractors to umbrella solutions with new rates well ahead of the April 6th. We will continue to offer interim management solutions for contractors that fall outside of IR35, as well as PAYE and inside IR35 solutions.
So, there’s our snapshot. This is our final planned blog for December, thank you to the 1,000s of you who are reading them and following us on LinkedIn. Thank you also to our clients, staff and collaborators for another engaging year in The City and around the country. We wish you a Happy Christmas and look forward to working with you in a prosperous New Year.