Kind Consultancy – The Year in Review 2022
As we head towards the end of the year, I wanted to take a look back at what 2022 has been like for both the recruitment world and for our clients in the Financial Services GRC space.
Most years we see different themes come to the forefront and then recess across the 12 months . In 2022 though, it felt like Consumer Duty has dominated the Governance Risk & Compliance conversation all year long – and understandably, when it constitutes the biggest change to UK Financial Services regulations in a decade. The need to pay close attention to every single step of the customer journey was made even more crucial with FCA expectations around helping customers through the rising cost of living and the knock-on effect on their wider personal finances. Other issues that have been important include both high tech and low-tech fraud and the KYC challenges faced by purely digital banks and other fintech start-ups. All of which made for a very busy year for us, with high demand for proven collections and complaints teams and more clients than ever seeking out bespoke consultancy services from the experts on our Kind Agile Solutions bench.
In the recruitment world, the most prevalent themes of the last two years continued . The candidate shortage rolls on, creating a recruitment marketplace that is as candidate-led as it ever has been. This has been a tricky transition for some organisations, but I think the second half of the year has seen a shift with many businesses now recognising that they need to showcase themselves better to attract the best candidates, rather than the other way around. Keeping salaries competitive has remained important but for skilled specialist candidates, the deciding factor has often not been monetary, with flexibility and remote work being the real make or break issues instead.
According to the ONS data, at the start of the year there was a huge number of vacancies – that has reduced in the second half of the year, but the most recent data shows unfilled job levels are still higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s also been an increase in reliance on contractors, a sure sign of a shortage of readily available skilled candidates, and anecdotally I can say that we’ve definitely seen more and more of our own clients looking for interim talent who have not previously considered it an option. It will be interesting to see if this shifts in the next year as the wider effects of the current economic uncertainty continue to build up. One thing I’m sure of is that in this kind of challenging labour market, we can deliver exceptional value as specialist recruiters and make a big difference to our clients.
Here at Kind Consultancy Ltd, we’ve had an exceptional year. We continued to grow the team, with Hetal Chavda joining us in May and quickly proving herself an important addition . Hetal Chavda flew through her probation period last month and Catherine Tieley took the step up to Senior Recruitment Consultant in August and Shai Cassidy was promoted for a second time to Executive Consultant back in June. The core recruitment team have all undertaken regular training on Financial Services industry topics to ensure we continue delivering on our promise to have a better understanding of our clients than they would get from a big corporate recruiter.
We’ve also helped to share knowledge to keep our clients ahead of the game, running a series of industry roundtables and seminars, sharing thought leadership around Consumer Duty and how Financial Services businesses can best help customers in the Cost of Living crisis.
The continuous focus and hard work from the whole team has paid off – at the time of writing we’re on track to have our most successful year ever! We’ve made a record number of total placements, with 66% of them being contract / interim and 33% being permanent. I’m also very proud that this year, 42% of our placed candidates were women and 60% were from ethnic minority backgrounds. This year we also carried out 9 retained search projects and also delivered on 11 specialist regulatory projects, all of which were bespoke plans crafted for each client’s individual compliance needs. Offering these truly specialist solutions and working with top-tier industry experts sets us apart from the competition, and for me personally it’s some of the most satisfying work we do.
In 2023, Kind Consultancy Ltd is going to keep reaching for new heights. Continued demand from our large client base enables us to grow year on year, and we are currently planning to expand our offices in Lichfield as we grow our team further. We will also continue to develop our fantastic staff, by investing in more training in both recruitment skills and Financial Services industry knowledge. We will also continue to run round tables and webinars to ensure the best-in-the-industry talent we work with can share their knowledge and experience, enriching our clients and our own team.
As we near the end of the year, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our clients, candidates, connections and followers – every one of whom contributed to our amazing 2022. I hope you all have some time and space over the winter break to relax, rest and celebrate.
To stay up to date on all of our latest opportunities and other news from the Kind team, keep following me and the Kind Consultancy Ltd page on LinkedIn.