This is a guest post compiled by Juliet Caulfield, Recruitment Director at IDentek Search. She can be reached at: email@example.com
Good headhunters are great reviewers, planners and forecasters…it’s a fact. We reflect on the month, the quarter, the year that has gone before but not, as you may first imagine, for self-congratulatory purposes (okay well maybe sometimes…) but rather as a mechanism to help us plan for the next month/ quarter/ year.
It helps us focus on the trends, the ‘direction of travel’, the so-called ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in our specialist market or sector in any given period, based not only on the level of recruitment demand, but also the type of jobs we are recruiting, and within which technology niche. This helps us to make calculated predictions on what ‘our’ market will do next.
Obviously, this year of all years it would be remiss not to mention that the universe has a habit of throwing the occasional curveball – e.g. global pandemics (2019/20), financial crashes (2008), 9/11 (2001) etc… And whilst one can’t predict exactly when the curveball will be launched, they usually occur with an almost ‘circadian-like’ rhythm on a seven to 10 year cycle. So, when we are in year seven of a 10-year cycle, we are waiting – and more importantly planning – for something beyond ‘business as usual’ market dynamics.
We believe you do not need a crystal ball to see what’s coming— you just need to look back to be able to see forward with clarity.
As the great Winston Churchill said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
IDentek Search hires globally into the identity solutions market with a focus on all vertical market applications for identity, such as physical and digital access, citizen identity, airport passenger flow biometrics, and payments.
So, for anyone who is vaguely interested, we have compiled a review of the identity solutions market in 2020 from a recruitment perspective and our predictions for 2021 and beyond.
A key growth market in terms of recruitment demand in 2020 was the biometric identity authentication for digital onboarding market, including e-KYC and anti-money laundering, mostly using ‘facial recognition’ technologies. We saw the most growth in developing economy markets, particularly in Latin America, where the governments have been early adopters and quick to regulate the banks to identify customers using biometrics.
Financial fraud and identity theft is a driver for multi-factor authentication, and in 2020 we worked with several clients with great technologies that enable more secure customer onboarding. We predict that there will be a growing trend of biometrics for onboarding of customers not just in the banking and finance sectors, but also other sectors such as governments, healthcare, and the sharing economy (Airbnb, Uber, etc). This could lead to global mass adoption of biometric led digital identity authentication by 2023/24.
Another ‘winner’ last year, based on the IDentek Search team’s recruitment activity, was the biometrics payment sector, especially those companies pioneering biometric smartcards in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
We hired roles for this market across Europe and Asia in 2020. It is great that this sector is finally seeing genuine interest and demand from banks for biometric enabled smartcards for ‘card present’ purchases, driven by consumer demand for limitless contactless payments.
Let’s face it, no one wants to touch the point-of-sale terminal anymore! The exception to this is the USA, who were a little later to the adoption of EMV than EMEA so are not quite as ‘market ready’ yet for biometric payments as their EMEA counterparts. We predict that there will be increased demand from banks for biometric authenticated payments and increased certification by the card schemes during 2021, with mass roll out by the end of 2022.
Also experiencing great increased demand (in terms of recruitment) last year was the physical access solutions sector-using RFID or biometrics to enable physical and logical access.
We hired in Europe and the USA for this technology. We believe this upward trend is set to continue in 2021, with an increased uptake in biometric-enabled physical access using ‘no-touch’ or frictionless facial recognition or iris authentication anywhere people need access such as lifts, security doors in office buildings, schools, healthcare settings, and workstations for multiple users.
The market areas which were previously strong in 2019 but have dipped in recruitment demand in 2020 include two sectors that will certainly bounce back once the COVID-19 vaccine has been rolled out.
Firstly, biometrics for airports and border control. With less people flying and travelling in general, the impact on this market came hard and fast. However, demand will recover with the return of consumer confidence in travel and we look forward to working with our clients in this sector again when it does.
The other market which appears to have been negatively impacted is the citizen, national and government identity market. This is not necessarily the case for this year’s revenue, but certainly in terms of its recruitment headcount demand, which reflects some slower than expected progress on government contracts and some suspended tenders.
The sales cycle for government identity is long and often complex even under better market conditions than the current COVID-19 landscape, and it isn’t surprising that governments attentions are directed elsewhere this year. We expect this sector will recover well and continue its progress towards fully digital identity for passports, national ID, and driver’s licenses.
So, that’s IDentek Search’s review of the identity solutions market in 2020 and predictions for 2021. What do you think? We are interested to hear from clients and candidates as to whether the actual market dynamic reflects the recruitment demand, so please get in touch!
Which technologies will be in the ascendency in 2021 from your point of view? If you are a company involved in identity solutions who would like to discuss how to attract great technical and commercial talent in an international marketplace, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org