Adapting to technology, innovation and change in recruitment - Mark DeLacy, MD Highams Recruitment

This year has been no different since joining Highams Recruitment in 1990; unprecedented change within the Insurance and Financial Services markets, driven by business and technology innovation, social communication, and substantial regulatory change. It has been a recurring theme year-on-year creating further complexities to the recruitment landscape and driving the profiles of new hires on a continuous basis.

Whilst technology has delivered so much innovation through devices, mobile apps, social networks and the availability of data, some things never change. I have found that companies always need key people at all levels with the following attributes:

  • The ability to drive change and business process re-engineering
  • Superb stakeholder and relationship management skills
  • An aptitude to work effectively with the business and technology teams
  • Deliver complex multi-workstream projects
  • Implementation of effective change processes
  • Aptitude to carry their users and teams with them through challenging times
  • A can-do attitude with a results focus

Our clients value our expertise and ability to source sector experienced professionals who can demonstrate these skills in abundance, capable of hitting the ground running to make the difference within major change programmes and meet delivery deadlines.


So what’s new?

Highams itself is making changes – we’ve realigned our values, refreshed our office with new decoration and equipment and we are introducing skills training and development plans for all staff in line with our new global HR Learning and Development framework. Our business model is evolving to deliver an enriched service to our clients, create more opportunity for our staff and maintain our track record for outstanding client and candidate satisfaction.


Life & Pensions, General Insurance, Wealth Management – Sector overviews

The Life & Pensions Sector is seeing more innovative products coming to market. With the UK pension changes, there are a lot of consolidations and mergers occurring within the Annuities market, leading surprisingly to increased demand for permanent hires across the companies and more conservative use of contract staff.

The General Insurance Sector is still faced with major challenges around data, and product distribution channels, and is witnessing an increase in investment across the pricing/rating and finance verticals. Within these markets we have more contract demand supported by specific permanent hires.

Further company mergers in the London Market Insurance sector will continue to provide excellent new business opportunities. Currently there are approximately 35 plus companies that are in flight for a sale or in merger activity. For a compact market that has traditionally been slow to change this is a high number.

Within the Wealth Management Sector platform delivery, mergers / acquisition and migrations are the hot topics creating demand for hiring new staff. Businesses are focusing on implementing platforms to increase their D2C offerings, which is causing high demand for business change, integration and migration skills. We expect the need for Digital skills to increase sharply over the coming months.