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January - March 2016

The banking recruitment market has become increasingly candidate short and strong candidates have a choice of roles available to them. As a result we are seeing an increase in counter offers as employers increasingly using counter offers to try and hold onto staff.

Savvy candidates know their worth and are demanding higher salaries or access to greater career progression before accepting an offer to move employers.

Meanwhile, banks are stepping up activity levels to increase their share of the Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) market. The financial planning recruitment market remains highly competitive due to a very limited pool of candidates. Despite this, employers insist candidates have the appropriate qualifications. Certified Financial Planners are in very high demand due to growing compliance pressures from the Future of Financial Advice and the Australian Securities & Investment Commission.

Temporary placements are expected to continue to be strong over the quarter including an increase in roles in fraud detection.

The major Australian banks are also still recruiting lending operations roles predominantly on a temporary basis while international banks, non-bank lenders and small business bankers are focussing on permanent hires to attract the strongest candidates.

The slow growth in the back office space is set to change pace over the coming quarter off the back of strong hiring levels of sales staff by the Big 4 banks. This should feed into back office operational roles by April this year. Already at least two of the big banks have increased levels of temporary back office staff.

Investment and superannuation operations are growing and in response we are seeing steady and increasing demand for candidates with strong investment experience. While large employers are happy to use contract and temporary staff, smaller financial institutions are showing a preference for permanent recruitment. Employers are being increasingly specific about the need for candidates to possess both well-developed soft skills and strong technical skills.

Skills in demand

In terms of the skills in demand during the January to March quarter we expect compliance candidates to be highly sought across financial advice, regulatory compliance and wealth products such as superannuation, insurance and management investment schemes.

We are also seeing a major shortage of Risk Advisors and Financial Planners who specifically want to specialise in risk advice covering both the personal and business space. Para Planners are also in short supply as most people in this role view many use it a stepping stone to becoming a Financial Planner creating considerable churn.

Demand for Fraud Officers is on the rise in line with more fraudulent activity being identified and reported across the banks.

Planners are needed due to increased pressure from FOFA and ASIC for highly compliant advisors.

The low interest rate environment is driving up demand for several roles related to lending and also in the strong property development and construction markets. These include Business Bankers/Relationship Managers, Business Banking Officers, Branch Lending Managers, Mobile Lending Managers, Mobile Lenders with their own referrer channels, SME Business Bankers and property finance professionals.

Increased volumes of credit applications across the board, especially home loan applications, are driving up demand for Credit Analysts.


A number of candidates who have already gone through bonus reviews are looking to move after receiving less than they expected. Overall, candidates are a lot more willing to move for the right opportunity and will even forgo a permanent role for a long-term temporary role that offers greater career progression.

There is a growing demand for bi-lingual candidates particularly those with English language skills and Mandarin, Cantonese or Vietnamese as banks tap into these lucrative investment channels for overseas businesses.

Employers are also conducting more video conferences to access talent pools interstate and overseas.

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