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2023 Mid-Year Update on Financial Services Industry Trends and Recruitment Landscape

Industry Trends and Recruitment Landscape

Six months ago, I was asked to share my thoughts on the evolving dynamics of recruitment in the Financial Services industry for 2023. Today, while the underlying drivers remain consistent, there are emerging trends influenced by macroeconomic factors that deserve our attention.

What remains consistent?

The emphasis on Digital Transformation, Sustainable Finance, Data, And New Technologies remains paramount. Cloud adoption in the U.S., which stood at 54%, has seen a further uptick. The need to adapt to increasing consumer and governmental focus on sustainability and ESG concerns is increasingly being taken more seriously as the broader requirements evolve.

AI and Machine Learning Revolution: Technology continues to dominate the Financial Services Industry, with AI and ML quickly becoming integral, representative of the continued merging of Finance and Technology at a more complex level. The benefits range from enhanced Data Analysis capabilities to Streamlined Customer Experiences. Financial institutions are increasingly focusing on AI talent recruitment. Significant players like Bloomberg and JPMorgan spearhead this shift with products like BloombergGPT and IndexGPT. The emergence of AI is also creating unprecedented opportunities in the Fintech sector. However, this boom is not without challenges. With Big Tech companies offering lucrative packages, the competition for top AI talent is fierce. This scarcity has led to instances of talent poaching and has prompted organisations to seek flexible recruitment solutions like those offered by eMFusion Consulting.

Elongated recruitment and sales cycles

There’s been a noticeable shift towards firms holding onto their investment capital. This is resulting in extended recruitment processes. We’re seeing initial interview-to-final-hire timelines lengthen as more interviews and approval steps are introduced into the cycles. The consequence of artificial investment approval barriers has been a deliberate slowdown.

Continued Challenges for Start-ups and Scale-ups

These entities are particularly affected, experiencing a dual blow. On the one hand, there’s the issue of reduced funding availability. On the other, they are grappling with extended sales cycles for potential clients. This situation naturally leads to a squeeze on growth, impacting their hiring requirements. Although AI is creating more opportunities.

Consulting Slowdown

Amidst clients scrutinising their immediate investment outlays, Consulting, Advisory Firms and MSPs are seeing a deceleration in new projects. The growing hesitance to renew or enlarge current contracts signalling caution towards the ongoing expenses of outsourced expertise.

Candidate Reluctance

Influenced by the overarching economic environment, individuals are becoming increasingly cautious in their approach to the job market. The previously mentioned elongated hiring processes further intensify this sentiment.

The Workplace Dilemma

There’s growing tension in the workplace, with some firms still advocating for physical in-office presence. Meanwhile, employees, having experienced the benefits of remote work, push for hybrid models. Balancing these competing desires will be crucial for retaining talent and maintaining productivity.


While the Financial Services industry’s foundation remains stable, the shifts in the recruitment landscape, driven by external factors, are pronounced. Firms must recognise and address these to ensure they continue attracting and retaining the right talent ready for the next cycle. Given these developments, the emphasis on remote and flexible work and competitive remuneration will likely intensify.

As the director of a recruitment company, I have a front-row seat to these evolving dynamics. The shifts I have outlined are observable across our client base in North America, the UK, and the EU.

Amidst a rapidly evolving recruitment landscape, adaptability is vital. This year has heightened the stakes. Companies adept at securing and retaining top talent are set to thrive. In these shifting times, a trusted recruitment partner is invaluable, offering insights and tailored strategies to attract the right professionals. Their expertise can mean the difference between keeping pace and leading the charge.

eMFusion Takeaway

For firms operating in Financial Services, forging a partnership with a specialised recruitment agency is a strategic advantage. Aligning with a company like eMFusion Global ensures you access top-tier talent: professionals adept at understanding, navigating, and pioneering in this complex sector.

We champion tailored, objective-aligned talent solutions, ensuring the perfect fit for your distinct needs. We identify exceptional candidates through proactive networking instead of an overreliance on job postings. By tapping into these ‘passive candidates’, we find premium talent that precisely matches your staffing needs.

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