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  • Writer's picturePatrick Flanagan

2022 Market Insights

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

As the financial year comes to a close, Clarence George’s Managing Director Patrick Flanagan reflects on market trends within the insurance and investment recruitment industry.

It has been an exciting year for Clarence George. Continuing our projected growth of doubling revenue and headcount, we have enjoyed many successes and seen our team grow with the intake of two new Associate Consultants. It has also been a very interesting year as the insurance industry adjusted to the pandemic.

The quiet and inactive job market of 2020, hampered by coronavirus and uncertainty, is a thing of the past. Whereas at the beginning of 2020 employers were holding off on making hiring decisions, the realisation that working from home was productive saw recruitment make an upturn once more; and by 2021 the job market had made an almost full recovery.

In fact, right now the UK job market for actuaries and investment professionals is booming. In the last year, we have seen demand for candidates in the UK far overtake supply. As a result, the best candidates are frequently finding themselves with multiple offers and are therefore able to leverage better packages within a candidate-driven market. Further to this, the increased movement of employees has caused companies and teams to feel stretched. Due to firms being unwilling to lose key team members, there has been a surge in counter offers from companies since the start of 2022.

This combination of factors has seen a rise in salaries across all regions within the UK, with pay increases of between 10-30% in the last year.

Another new reality of the candidate-driven market is that interview processes now need to move extremely quickly in order to keep up. The movement of the best candidates within the market is swift; there can no longer be the luxury of waiting for extensive shortlists.

Although the fast movement of the market is a challenge, recruitment has been aided by many companies adopting a hybrid working model, allowing talent pools to widen due to no longer being limited to candidates due to location. However, the first year of Brexit has witnessed UK companies being hampered by the need to provide visas for those candidates coming from Europe, just as they do for non-European candidates.

Further to this, whilst agile-work has helped to alleviate some of the challenges facing the market, it has also been a contributing factor to a phenomenon called “the great resignation”. Extended periods of working from home and minimal contact with teams has caused many people to simply lose sight of what they once loved about their companies. As a result, we have spoken to many candidates who are not looking to change jobs due to a better role or for pay; rather they are simply looking for a change. Therefore, even if a candidate is not active in the market, they are increasingly open to hearing about those opportunities which may give them a chance to revitalize their career.

Finally, we have seen an encouraging push within the insurance industry for diversity and inclusivity. Clients are increasingly requesting agencies to provide diverse shortlists, and Clarence George in turn are ensuring that our clients support and champion diversity in their workforce. At the beginning of this year, we enjoyed an informative workshop discussing diversity awareness and inclusive recruitment, led by Diversiti UK. It was fantastic to further our understanding of diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace, and to engage in productive conversations around our responsibility as a recruitment search consultancy to champion change so that our clients and candidates can be confident that we are providing an equitable and inclusive recruitment service.

With such positive steps such as these taking place within our industry, I am able to look with optimism towards the year ahead, and look forward to Clarence George’s continued growth and development.

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