Q1 saw a surprisingly busy market, for what is traditionally a quieter part of the year in Financial Services. The post-Covid hiring boom has continued following a hectic Q3 and Q4 in 2021 and we have now started to see a significant impact of the high demand plus inflation having an impact on increased salary expectations.
Regulatory reporting has remained busy as reporting requirements continue to change/evolve (eg IFPR) creating demand in an already talent-short space. With demand up across all areas of finance, financial accounting and reporting roles have proved challenging with candidates in that space presented with more opportunities to step into project-focused or commercial roles and away from BAU reporting.
Stats and Data:
The Deloitte CFO Survey gives a good overview of expectations and trends coming down the line in the short and medium-term (The Deloitte CFO Survey | Deloitte UK)
98% of CFOs expect costs to rise, with 46% expecting these to be significant increases
35% facing significant difficulties in recruitment in Q1 2022 (down from 46% in Q4 2021)
23% expect to still face major challenges in hiring in 12 months
In Q4, labour shortages were the most common concern among CFOs surveyed heading towards the end of the year. The level of concern around recruitment has remained the same but has been overtaken in terms of priority by inflation, interest rate rises and geopolitical instability with the war in Ukraine.
The issue has not gone away, but other worries with more significant, short-term impacts have overtaken the top of the list. It will be interesting to see how the labour market evolves as we move out of the post-covid boom.
The majority of CFOs are still predicting revenue growth, with a focus on new products/services to market and cost reduction. This is a positive for finance hiring as both activities create the need to hire extra heads in addition to the already high demand for financial reporting/control/regulatory professionals.
What might this mean for job seekers?
Sought after talent is still in high demand but we are starting to see that starting to ease slightly. Despite a bumper 6-9 months of hiring activity, the market remains busy.
Concerns point toward a possible economic slowdown later this year. Given the labour shortages we are seeing, hiring could avoid this downturn and stay strong, especially in niche technical roles.
Candidates should be looking to futureproof their careers with steady progression and pay rises backed by knowledge and ability. Beware the 'too good to be true' lure of a large pay increase or hefty promotion that may not be sustainable when the recovery bubble bursts.
For hiring managers:
Job seekers' salary expectations look likely to continue to increase as they take advantage of the buoyant market, especially after 2 years of stagnated pay rises.
Employer brand and offering will be key in securing top talent in a market that looks to remain extremely competitive in the next 12 months. Those that stand out and offer competitive packages will be more successful.
Be sure to benchmark your current team vs the external market – not just on salary but on progression, exposure, benefits and flexibility.
If you are a candidate thinking about a career move this year, or a manager looking to benchmark or hire for your team, please get in touch for a more in-depth discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org