Challenging Employment Market in Banking and Financial Services: Survey

Already faced with a changing regulatory landscape globally, the financial services sector may have yet another challenge: finding and keeping good employees. In a study from recruitment specialist Robert Half, nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) of financial services leaders report recruiting difficulties, and 83 percent said they are concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities this year.


“While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment, resulting in additional hiring," says Neil Owen, Global Practice Director, Robert Half Financial Services. "This makes it a challenge to find the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities.”


Stella Tang, Director, Robert Half Singapore said: “Competition for the industry’s top talent has intensified, particularly risk and compliance professionals who continue to be in high demand as companies navigate unprecedented regulatory shifts while growing their core business.”


Recruiting Challenges
The global survey found eighty-nine per cent of financial services leaders find it challenging to recruit skilled financial services professionals.  Talent shortages are especially acute in Singapore where 93 percent of respondents cited difficulties.  Even in France, which had the lowest level of difficulty in the survey report, 82 percent of firms are experiencing recruiting challenges.


“Building a team with the right skills is becoming increasingly difficult.  Banks and financial services firms face a market where demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply," says Tang.


Retention Concerns
With the market improving for financial services professionals who can fill roles in areas such as accounting and finance, operations support, revenue generation, and risk and compliance, employers around the globe are worried about losing their best and brightest to other opportunities. A large majority, 83 percent, of financial services leaders, are either very or somewhat concerned about their ability to hang on to top performers this year, the study found.


The greatest worries appear to be in Hong Kong and Singapore, where a net 93 percent and 92 percent of respondents, respectively, cited concerns about losing valued employees.  In each of the seven countries surveyed, at least 76 percent of respondents expressed some level of concern.


“Combined with an improving job market for financial services professionals in specialised roles, the growing need for regulatory expertise and the substantial operational changes taking place in the sector will likely exacerbate current retention challenges,” says Owen.


Tang adds: “The challenge of recruiting and retention is only going to get harder.  Employers will need to enhance their efforts, including offering salary increases and progressive perks, to keep their most valued employees in an increasingly tight manpower market.”

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