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PwC hiring 1,000 tech specialists to UK risk unit

20 / 09 / 2016
PwC hiring 1,000 tech specialists to UK risk unitTechnology within the corporate governance function is a theme we cover regularly on the Barclay Simpson blog - and for good reason. Organisations are revolutionising the way they do business using the latest innovations, but they're also inviting greater risk into their operations. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has recognised the importance of strengthening its expertise in this area and announced the company's intention to employ 1,000 technology specialists within the next four years. 

PwC revealed the new staff will work within its UK Risk Assurance practice in order to meet clients' increasing demands for cyber security, digital and regulatory services. 

Building an expert workforce

Hemione Hudson, PwC's UK head of assurance, confirmed that 600 of the recruits would be external hires, while 400 will transfer from other locations in the firm's global network. A further 200 graduates specialising in cyber security, data and technology will also join the ranks. 

"Business models that have served clients well for decades are being disrupted or destroyed due to the speed of digital disruption, the increase of regulatory scrutiny on technology risks, and the escalation of cyber threat, requiring us to respond and build a strong team of specialists," she explained. 

According to PwC, the workers will be spread across the UK, reinforcing the company's headcount in London and more regional areas. Threat and vulnerability management, data management and analytics, technology risk and controls and business systems are the cores areas PwC will target. 

Skills shortages an ongoing problem

The big four accountancy firm said its technology specialist recruitment plans add to a previous drive that will see 1,000 data scientists employed in PwC's global Deals business in the coming years. The organisation also recently acquired identity and access management consultancy Praxism. 

However, risk assurance partner at PwC Marc Bena admitted the UK is suffering a skills shortage for technology professionals. He said the company hopes to build and grow a talent pipeline of tech specialists much like the firm has achieved with finance expertise. 

"Our clients and their customers want to know that their technology is innovative and pushing boundaries while being safe and delivering what is expected," Mr Bena stated. 

"We have a duty to continue to build a team of technology experts able to help our clients do business with confidence." 

Finding the right candidates

The demand for technology skills among corporate governance professionals has increased dramatically over the last few years. Barclay Simpson research from earlier this year showed 65 per cent of businesses are struggling to find risk management candidates with the relevant technical experience and know-how. 

This is leading some organisations to rely on external resources to fill the gaps in their technology needs. Our figures revealed 52 per cent of respondents now look outside their company to source the necessary talent, up from 43 per cent last year. 

Risk management isn't the only function suffering from skills shortages; compliance, internal audit, security and legal professionals with technology expertise are also highly sought after. 

The pace of innovation in the technology space shows no signs of slowing down, which is why organisations must have an effective plan for attracting, hiring and retaining the best candidates to cope with future challenges. 

If you'd like to learn more, please get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your recruitment needs. 

Our 2016 Compensation and Market Trends Report combines our review of the prevailing conditions in the risk management recruitment market together with the results of our latest employer survey.

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