David Herman joined MERJE back in May armed with five years' recruitment experience and a drive to get to grips with a whole new sector. In his first six months at MERJE he's taken the Credit Risk world by storm, achieving some fantastic results for his clients in a very short period of time, as well as hitting the high ropes at our Carden Park Summer Social event and coming out as top dog at the Credit Risk team's Q3 incentive activity at Point Blank.
Here, we caught up with David on his first six months with the business and what's going on in the world of Credit Risk & Analytics at the moment.
Tell us about your role and specialism at MERJE.
I recruit for permanent and interim appointments across the UK’s Credit Risk & Analytics space. I engage with candidates at all levels, from graduate Credit Risk Analysts to Senior Modellers and SAS Consultants, right up to Heads of Credit Risk and Chief Risk Officers.
The majority of the roles I cover sit within Retail Banking, although the Credit Risk and data analysis skill set is in demand across the wider Financial Services sector, Insurance, Utilities, Telecoms and many more industries, so I go where the market takes me!
You’ve been part of the MERJE crew for 6 months now, how has your experience been so far?
It’s been incredible so far. The culture and environment has been completely different to anything I’ve experienced before in recruitment as it is very relaxed, but at the same time, extremely productive and energetic.
The Credit Risk space has also been extremely busy as banks, building societies, fintechs and other FS firms put 2020 behind them and start hiring for the future, which has enabled me to get to know the sector very quickly and work on some really interesting roles.
What are you looking forward to in the future of your career with MERJE?
I’m looking forward to continuing to build a strong network of skilled Credit Risk candidates and innovative clients. I’ve worked on some great roles so far with challenger banks, fintechs and revolving credit specialists to name a few and, with so many new developments in the market, I’m excited to see what start-ups and SMEs come up with next.
What trends have you noticed in the Credit Risk recruitment market recently?
The main trend I’ve noticed is the move towards the use of Python and R from the traditional SAS and SQL skill set that hiring managers focused so much on in previous years.
We recently conducted some research and found that the majority (63%) of individuals in our space do not use SAS as their main programming language day-to-day, which is a dramatic change from how the poll would have been answered a few years ago.
We’ve also seen a large increase in Senior Manager hires in recent times, seemingly down to the fact that companies have more or less recovered from the challenges of the pandemic and are now focusing on their growth strategies moving forward, which means looking for experienced, authoritative Credit Risk experts to guide their teams in the right direction.
What advice would you give to employers who are recruiting in the current market?
Move quickly! We are seeing candidates come on and off the market in a matter of days as the hiring market is so competitive right now. It’s imperative that businesses don’t waste candidates’ time or insist on long, drawn out interview processes as the candidate will get bored or frustrated and ultimately choose someone who moved faster.
It’s also likely that candidates will have multiple options on the table in the current market so, as well as a speedy process, you need to make your business stand out. Our recent research found that 3 in 4 candidates would not be interested in an opportunity if the hiring business required full-time in-office working, so offering a good flexible working policy is a step in the right direction.
And what about candidates seeking new roles at the moment?
Be open… There are so many interesting and exciting roles out there which are well worth exploring and candidates often close themselves off from them by being too prescriptive about the opportunities they’ll consider.
The FS world moves fast these days. All sizes of business are adapting to keep up with technological advancements in the market so if you’re finding your role becoming stale, be open to talking with recruiters and hiring managers to see what else is out there.
After all, a 10-minute phone call with a hiring manager doesn’t hurt anyone and could be, at most, an eye-opening conversation, and at the very least, a new relationship that could benefit you in future.
Favourite MERJE moment so far
Our Carden Park day out was fantastic!
Describe the MERJE culture in three words
Relaxed, professional, diverse
Is there anyone at MERJE who you think you wouldn’t beat in an arm wrestle?
No chance!! Although Ellie Sykes might fancy her chances
TV show recommendation
Curb Your Enthusiasm
See our current Credit Risk & Analytics vacancies here.
If you would like to chat with David about your hiring or job searching needs, please get in touch.