WHERE hires in the banking and financial space have slowed to a trickle during the last two years, a hiring renaissance is now solidly underway, observes Martin Cerullo, director for resourcing communications at Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS).
And what a renaissance it has been. Mr Cerullo, whose firm recruits candidates for banks such as Santander, BNP Paribas, and Credit Suisse, says with the flurry of major initial public offerings and liquidity in this part of the world post-recession, it's back to the boom times of three to four years ago.
Even the fourth quarter slowdown typical of finance and banking companies is painting a rosier picture from the blue period of before.
'For some clients, this Q4 slowdown has been less than many other years. Although it's slower than it was earlier in the year, it's nothing to be surprised about or overly concerned about,' he tells BT in a recent interview.
Business for AMS then, clearly waxes and wanes with the fortunes of the industry it serves.
Yet, AMS practices a model of recruitment called pipe-lining or talent-pooling which puts its recruiters to work during the lull.
'It was a different form of recruiting in many ways,' says Mr Cerullo.
'We had to flex our resources to cope with those resources for our clients, because our team sizes are related to those volumes. But that's what our model is built on.
'From our perspective, our model is built on flexibility of resourcing. We up and down our resourcing depending on the volumes of our business.'
As a rule, AMS maintained close relationships with recruitment managers of the firms they serve, identified talent from competitors and different organisations, and helped bring the two - candidates and recruitment managers - together.
'What talent-pooling may mean is introducing people way in advance of a potential role opening to a hiring manager. The principle behind this is having a relationship in place which we can then activate when the role does open up.'
That stockpiling strategy has snowballed in the current quarter in Asia-Pacific, to prep for the new year where hiring activity again picks up.
'There's a huge amount of work going on at the moment in terms of working with clients to create talent pools and start conversations now, which means when we move into the new year - when positions open up again - we are able to move straight away into offering people roles.'
In recent times, there has been the usual jumping across to other competitors in the banking and finance industry, but Mr Cerullo has also seen a lot of hiring being done internally within companies.
'We've had to work with talent pooling internally because more banks are moving towards a 'one bank' mentality. They're offering multiple products and multiple service lines, and they start to look out for people with multiple experiences in the bank,' he says.
'They still need specialists in certain areas but they also need people with experience in many areas to speak to clients about all areas of the bank.'
Such internal resourcing also has the added benefit of helping companies retain their best talent, letting people know that these openings actually exist or that it is acceptable to move across the company, says Mr Cerullo.
There's also been more spit and polish over the branding of these once- shiny banks on campuses.
In these post-Lehman times when a career in finance has fallen out of favour with fresh graduates, Mr Cerullo says that recruitment drives by banks have seen an about turn.
'We see a lot of focus on this on the graduate recruitment space. Where numbers have dropped in the past, these numbers are back up completely.
'We've got more people out on campus, with investment going into communications campaigns to attract people into the banks, especially in some cases, when the attractiveness of the bank has dropped in the students' minds,' he says.