What will 2023 hold for employers in the Financial & Legal arena?

Paul McClatchie

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With 2023 now up and running, Paul McClatchie, Director of Engage People, shares his thoughts about hot topics that employers need to consider.

The Market for Employers

New jobs have remained consistent and strong across each of our verticals: Accounting, Banking & Financial Services, Insurance and Legal. While we have a role to play in insuring we have a good pipeline of new business, we study our existing client's actions in depth. A high-level view would suggest that both multinationals and Irish HQ organisations are replacing leavers whilst also adding additional headcount.

Tech Sector and Layoffs

We are certainly noticing that we are receiving plenty of applications from Talent Acquisition professionals in this sector. We have yet to see multiple redundancies in the areas most relevant to us such as Accounting and Legal in-house. This may change of course, but we would agree with the sentiment that several of the major players went through huge hiring drives in 2021 and 2022. Easing demand in the Tech sector would be advantageous for domestic Irish companies that are keen to grow.

Attracting and Retaining the Right People

We are strongly of the view that it is key to have a clear Employer Value Proposition to discuss with desirable candidates at interview. Not everyone is seeking size and scale and for many job seekers it will be their relationship with their boss that provides the biggest motivation. We have put together a simple EVP process that is worth reviewing for ideas. Ideally you can involve your team, but you may find it useful to pick out a few nuggets to explore.

In relation to retention, an interesting piece to note is that when we ask an individual why they are considering a move, they often feel there is an indifference or that their boss is too busy. As an employer in a sector that typically involves a lot of movement, I feel qualified to speak on the subject. It may seem time consuming, but we recommend having an organised quarterly meeting in place with your team with their career in mind. It offers an opportunity to discuss clearly where you see their role on the team, what is working well and what they can work on. It offers an opportunity for the employee to ask questions. We feel this approach builds alignment. If salary is a major discussion point, you could outline what they can achieve through strong performance, this year and next. If they are being challenged by a tuned in Hiring Manager, money is not always their biggest motivation.

Working Arrangements

It is correct that most individuals are seeking a level of flexibility. That does not need to be exclusively on their terms. We strongly encourage a job seeker to build a track record internally, the right rapport and understanding of their employer’s processes before seeking to work from home for part of the week. It is worth considering what the role entails. For example, in the Accounting, Banking and Legal sectors the roles can be quite detail focussed. Can the employee get more done at home behind closed doors and minus their commute a few days a week? That can be a ‘win win’ for both parties. On the other side, if there is a key influencing aspect internally and their drive, communication and energy are valuable for team success, their presence might hold more value than simply their own individual output. Alignment on these matters is built through each party building an understanding of what is required to achieve success. It is important to understand what an employee’s work-from-home set up is like. In our sector where there are a number of discreet calls each day, it would not be suitable to work in a shared space with others passing through. A home office is of course not a luxury that everyone has access to, but it may determine how many days the individual works from home.