MORGAN MCKINLEY LONDON EMPLOYMENT MONITOR
London Employment Monitor November 2017 highlights:
- 5% increase in jobs available, month-on-month
- 3% decrease in jobs available, year-on-year
- 8% decrease in professionals seeking jobs, month-on-month
- 37% decrease in professionals seeking jobs, year-on-year
- 16% average salary change month-on-month (Average of £8,017)
City defies economic odds
Despite the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting the first across-the-board drop in employment since the Brexit referendum, the City’s tenacity was on full display in November. Jobs available were up 5% in November, a continuation of the post-April flatline, and reaching the rates as seen in November 2015. The year-on-year decrease of 3% was moderate given the extreme uncertainty of the business climate. “The City is on the receiving end of a lot of punches these days, but it keeps getting back up to fight another day,” said Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
The number of professionals seeking new opportunities has been inching up since April, with November seeing a slight decrease. The 8% month-on-month fall shows an ongoing uncertainty around the Brexit fallout as job seekers choose to stay put in their current roles. The 37% year-on-year decrease in professional job seekers is consistent with the post-Brexit hemorrhaging of EU nationals. “In Brexit adjusted terms, the job seeker figures are a net positive for the financial services sector,” said Enver.
Banks pass stress test with flying colours
The Bank of England announced in late November that the nation’s top lenders all passed a recent round of rigorous stress tests. It is the first time in a decade – and since the 2007 crash – that stress tests produced such stellar results. “The stress tests confirm that the City is resilient and they offer hope for its ability to weather the Brexit storms ahead,” said Enver.
Indeed one of the stress tests conducted measured resilience under a “disorderly Brexit,” a scenario that still cannot be ruled out as EU divorce terms remain largely unknown. “The tests give businesses the opportunity to prepare for a future they know may be around the corner,” said Enver. “All signs indicate that the damage of a ‘disorderly Brexit’ can be offset with a robust trade deal.”
Brexit threatens to take bite out of budget
A recent study by researchers from the Centre for Economic Policy Research found that Brexit has already cost the UK economy nearly £20 billion. In its latest budget, unveiled in November, the government has set aside an additional £30 billion for the remainder of the exit process. “That’s a hefty price-tag for a parcel we haven’t seen the contents of,” said Enver. Alarmingly, the EU itself puts the final bill at up to two or three times that of the combined spent and projected amounts.
An additional red flag for the financial services sector in the government’s newly released budget was its reduced GDP growth targets. “The government is either playing the expectations game, hoping for a positive news story this time next year, or we’ve got trouble ahead,” said Enver. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development economic forecast showed even less growth optimism than the government’s, with a growth rate as low as 1.1% in 2019 – a full half percent lower than the Bank of England estimate.
Fintech disrupts financial services workforce
A new Deloitte survey of business executives found that over half anticipate investing at least £10 million a year in digital technologies by 2020. The investments will be both a boon for talent, as well as a challenge for those struggling to adapt to the rapid changes in technology and business models that this tech-forward approach heralds. “The fintech disruption isn’t in the future, it’s in the here and now,” said Enver.
As businesses are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly evolving fintech space, their dependence on consultants instead of salaried staff is skyrocketing. While sectors across the board saw a spike in consultant utilisation, nearly a third of growth was in financial services. “It’s high risk, high reward out there in the wilds of fintech, and niche tech skills are in high demand,” said Enver. Data scientists are among the most hotly recruited fintech talent, as organisations large and small increase their dependence on data driven analysis and business planning.
Consultants are also proving themselves essential in an industry that is struggling to provide a new generation of professionals the type of work culture and hours they are looking for from a job. “Millennials work every bit as hard as their predecessors, they just don’t do it in the same way,” said Enver. Consulting work offers the opportunity for high intensity and high earning periods of work bookended by time away from the day-to-day grind, a schedule that has proven especially appealing to millennials.
Average Salary change
The average salary change for those moving jobs to another in November held steady at 16% – the equivalent of £8,017 on average in monetary terms. “Despite the ongoing questions raised around the future of the City, organisations are still going out of their way to make sure that they are offering high premiums and a competitive salary to attract talented individuals” said Enver.
Though less steep, the road to recovery remains long
Despite the relatively upbeat November, the City is far from out of the woods: the ONS further reported that EU migration to the UK was down 43% in the year since Brexit; the threat of a “no deal” Brexit is sending chills down business sector spines; office development, a key indicator of business growth, was down 9%; and financial institutions remain poised to pull the trigger on Plan B,launching a possible exodus that puts at risk the £72.1bn in tax revenue generated by the City, if the government does not provide a Brexit roadmap by the New Year. “The tea leaves are impossible to read, but there are potential fights on many fronts left to be fought,” concluded Enver.
Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers
- Modelling shows increasing the proportion of online sales by 5 percentage points would have significantly boosted retailers’ revenues during the first lockdown
- 72% of Brits want retailers who started an online service during the pandemic to continue operating it full time
New data released today by global payments platform Adyen, outlines the economic gains that could be accessed by getting more UK retailers online.
Economic modelling conducted by Cebr for Adyen indicates that if the retail sector increased the proportion of turnover stemming from online channels by 5 percentage points, £68.8 billion would have been added to the economy during the first lockdown.
While retail turnover stemming from online sales has grown significantly during 2020 – from 19% to 28%, there is still considerable room for growth.
Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director of Adyen comments: “The UK retail sector is facing an incredibly tough quarter, so creating the link between physical stores and online channels is more important than ever. With the festive period approaching and many shoppers unable, or uncomfortable leaving their homes, establishing and maintaining a positive online experience is a billion-pound opportunity for retailers.”
The research of 2,000 UK consumers found that 31% are less likely to shop in physical stores now because of positive experiences shopping online during the pandemic. Furthermore, 72% of these consumers want retailers who started an online service during the pandemic to continue operating it in the long term.
However, making the process of shopping online as frictionless as possible will be key to unlocking the opportunity presented by online channels. 70% of Brits say that when shopping online, the ease of use is as important as the quality of the product, and 72% won’t shop with a retailer whose website or app is difficult to navigate.
Myles Dawson concludes: “Many retailers did amazing things during the pandemic in terms of adapting and creating new experiences – it’s a testimony to their agility that 57% of Brits said their expectations of the retail sector has improved during the pandemic. The challenge now is to consistently meet these expectations going forward. With local lockdowns in place, online channels will be key to serving many consumers in the short term. However, retailers need to see the shift to unified commerce as a long-term trend. The sooner they can demonstrate agility and jump on board, the longer they’ll reap the rewards.”
2 Research conducted by Opinium Research LLP
Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need
By Anna Willems, Marketing Director, Mention
A strong online presence matters.
Having a strong online presence, that involves social media is now a crucial part of all business strategies. Whether they are retail brands, sports teams, libraries or even restaurants, most companies are investing more and more in developing their digital brand image and online presence – financial institutions are no exception.
When it comes to market trends and innovation, financial institutions are first on the line. After all, we — people and companies — trust them to manage our money to the best of their abilities. And even more so than any other market, we demand secure, trustworthy, fast and user-friendly services.
Reaching such high expectations is not a given. To this point, banks and other financial institutions have no other choice but to have a perfect understanding of their market, their audience, and their needs. What they need to get there is a fail-proof online strategy.
Gaining a deep understanding of your market
One of the best things about using social media to learn about your audience is that people give unsolicited opinions. They speak their mind and share their thoughts candidly.
This is the key to help any business to learn about themselves. They get to analyze their audience’s challenges and aspirations without having to ask them directly or serve them time-consuming surveys and polls.
UK-based Asto, a company that is part of the Santander Group, is committed to helping small businesses have access to financial and non-financial tools. Asto was looking for something that could help them discover what their target audience was talking about and find opportunities to add to the conversation. Mention enabled Asto to keep on top of reviews and customer comments, which has helped us provide a better service for our customers.
Which platform suits your offering the best?
There’s no point choosing to create campaigns on TikTok if your customers don’t use it – you need to think about who they are and work back from there.
You do this by automating the process using a social listening tool. A social listening tool will help you to view your market as a whole and identify where the key conversations are happening — and, therefore, where you should be. What’s more, you will never miss any relevant mention of your institutions, products, services, or competitors.
Handling a crisis
Financial institutions need to watch carefully for negative press – social media is the first place people will go to if they feel they’re not getting the service they need. In theory, rogue employees or unhappy clients can post anything they like online to try and hurt your brand. And if their messages gain traction, you’ve gone from one person saying bad things, to thousands.
That’s why listening needs to be part of any crisis management plan. Now, sometimes, there are crises you cannot prevent. And those usually hit pretty hard.
Power of influencers
For an influencer marketing campaign to work for your financial institution, partnering with nano content creators may well be the best way to go. They’re ability to play a part in how they shape your brand story can make a huge difference when it comes to engagement and reason to believe in your service.
Many financial institutions are already leveraging influencer marketing. It’s an efficient strategy to: Build trust and gain credibility, reach out to new audiences and share engaging stories.
The online review conundrum
94% of consumers check online reviews before they decide to buy something or subscribe to a service. They need what we call social proof. It says that the more people say they use your service, the more it will look like a good service. In short, you need to show how happy people are using your service. But not all online reviews are positive.
Having said that, we find that financial institutions shouldn’t ignore negative reviews. Instead, embrace them as an opportunity to rebuild trust in your brand. Less delicately put, take the bull by the horns and turn them to your advantage. Always respond to relevant complaints (and as fast as possible). Take responsibility for what happened. Be helpful.
And ignore trolls.
Learn from the competition
Over the last two decades, a marketer’s daily life has greatly evolved. Most importantly, we now can measure everything we do, including the consequences of our actions on our business. Having said that, you can’t evaluate how well you’re doing without comparing against
Truth is that 77% of businesses rely on listening to keep an eye on their competitors. What this means is that 4 in 5 of your direct competitors are likely watching each and every single step you take. And you should do the same.
Setting the trend
From staying up to date with the latest industry trends and innovations, to keeping an eye on the competitors’ newest services, to being the first to know of potential brand crises – tracking relevant online conversations lets marketing and communication professionals working for financial institutions to stay one step ahead in an industry that is leading change and innovation.
Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay)
By Roger James Hamilton, CEO, Genius Group
Virtually every aspect of our lives has been taken over by tech, so why is it that our schools, that are educating the business leaders of tomorrow, are still operating in much the same format as they did 100 years ago?
The global pandemic put digital learning in the spotlight and an Edtech boom has ensued, with companies like Coursera, Quizlet and Udemy seeing unicorn style growth. And the market is not slowing down. The education technology (Edtech) boom will continue.
Resilience and Growth
Unicorns are defined by rapid growth. Traditionally, these companies are not overly concerned with early profitability, long-term sustainability or value creation as much as with putting their competitors out of business.
But something different is going on in the Edtech market. The unicorn has lost its appeal. When learning platform Quizlet achieved unicorn status this year, CEO Matthew Glotzbach was keen to play down the moniker reserved for start-ups valued at $1 billion or more, preferring to liken his company to a camel.
Unlike unicorns, camels are real, hardworking beasts. Respected for their adaptability to various climates, resilience, and abilities to survive for long periods without sustenance. These are all traits much better suited to weather the economic storms created by the pandemic.
Despite their considerable abilities to adapt to challenging conditions, the climate is looking particularly sunny for camels within the Edtech market. In fact, all creatures great and small have the potential to capitalise on unprecedented growth in this sector.
The nature of education makes it a traditionally slow-moving area, which renders it unattractive to some investors. Yet, the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent surge in remote learning this year triggered a flurry of uptake in e-learning platforms.
We’ve seen the adoption rate for new technologies be accelerated by events like this before. For example, the SARS crisis of 2003 contributed to the boom in China’s ecommerce industry, as quarantines lead consumers to shop online. Of course, this market trend did not slow down once quarantine restrictions were lifted. Ever since, global online sales have risen exponentially. The same is set to happen in the Edtech market.
Providing a Solution
As with ecommerce in 2003, the demand for Edtech in 2020 was already there. It has been there for years. For the past decade at least, there has been a notable need in recruitment for qualified talent in data science, coding and digital. Edtech can bridge the skills gap, not only within formal education but also for adult learners upskilling and reskilling for today’s digital world.
Similarly, the financial crash of 2008 had the effect of fast-tracking the rise of the gig economy, requiring millions more to learn entrepreneurial skills. The idea of a job for life is now a distant memory. The Edtech sector can deliver the tools to equip students of all ages with the skills necessary for creating their own opportunities, as well as exchanging knowledge and collaborating in a digital economy.
Rising unemployment, as well as competition for jobs and government furlough schemes has seen interest in digital learning courses for adults also soar during the past few months. Figures show that the corporate e-learning market is set to increase by as much as $3.09 billion between 2020 and 2024.
The Edtech boom kickstarted by the pandemic is just the beginning in a paradigm shift in how we view education and work.
Over the next 10 years, with the rise of artificial intelligence, automated technology, and augmented reality, traditional, manual and customer service based roles will diminish and there will be less need for a large workforce when computers and machines can do the role equally well.
The need for a truly 21st century education system that reflects the needs of the job market is long overdue. Edtech companies are offering solutions to many of these issues that have troubled the economy for the past decade or more.
A Different Animal
Enter the zebra (back to our animal analogies). These types of Edtech businesses will be the ones to watch within the sector. With zebra companies, there’s a sense of community and collaboration, rather than competition. They understand that there’s room for more than one superstar in a market. Zebras are herd animals after all. The zebra believes that competition is healthy for everyone involved—something to watch and use for motivation and growth. It closely observes consumer trends and continually strives to solve new and developing problems for those consumers.
For zebra companies, profit margin is vital because it is necessary for steady growth and sustainability. Revenues hover between $5M and $50M, it serves customers within a specific niche, requires annual growth capital of $100K to $1M, and generally has more than four streams of revenue.
Zebras are both black with white stripes and white with black stripes – they have a fluidity in their approach and are camouflaged at the same time. This creates a double bottom line: Zebras want to conduct real business, by solving a pressing problem in a sustainable way, whilst reacting to contemporary challenges. This too could be said of the Edtech industry as a whole.
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