Financial Services sector resilience in the face of pandemic times (Coming out of lockdowns, Border Restrictions and a host of Variants!)

In this article we discuss the resilience of the financial services sector as lockdowns end, and border restrictions start to ease. The strength of the market demonstrated by high profits, lending and transaction settlement records and business appetite for growth is a positive signal in unusual times.

Australia has been living in pandemic times for more than 20 months. During that time, after the initial shock, the financial services sector has proven its resilience time and time and time again. As specialist recruiters to this sector, we have found that despite the rollercoaster of business confidence one minute and uncertainty the next, job seekers are still on the look-out for greener pastures. They are keen to move on to opportunities with better chances of career development, a company culture more suited to their values or for an increase in their salary. Employers are desperate to fill roles with great candidates to ensure their companies continue to grow and thrive.
Filling a role in these times is almost always an exercise in head hunting, tapping a passive candidate on their shoulder and talking to them about their career prospects.
Our recruitment team are finding that candidates are prepared to make a move for almost the same or a slight bump in pay for other factors such as permanent working from home arrangements or other lifestyle factors.
The pandemic has changed the way we work in financial services, some would say permanently. Hybrid working models and flexibility around remote working are here for the long term. Being reasonably tech savvy in the first place, the transition to working from home has gone well for this sector with arguably no real impact to productivity.

The financial services sector is thriving for the following reasons:
1. The Lending Sector is booming.
Lending providers are smashing their settlements in record numbers. For the non-bank lenders, this extends into opportunities for Credit and Treasury teams. These providers constantly raise funds to facilitate capital in the wholesale market. The consumer market demand for home loans continues to exceed expectations. This is partly fueled by cheap home loan rates, but also consumers reassessing their residences to meet their changing needs now that they are spending so much time there! Many people are taking the opportunity to upsize their properties, or to improve their homes with additional space for work or leisure.
Whilst capital raising was once upon a time done by a CFO, most lenders now have Treasury teams, to facilitate the sheer amount of debt market funding required. It is a great time particularly for analysts to get into Treasury as securitisation knowledge is a key demand area. If you have 3-5 years’ experience, get in touch with us at Oxygen Recruitment & HR!

2. Leveraging the Regional Workforce
Many people made the move away from capital cities in 2020 having realised that they were no longer tied down to their office or commute. Employers have also acknowledged this and are being geographically flexible about where they are hiring from. Whilst we are not yet seeing an associated increase in roles in the regions – there are many ex-Sydney and ex-Melbourne office workers now based in the idyllic and picturesque country regions doing their Sydney and Melbourne roles. And doing so at Sydney and Melbourne salaries.

3. Turnover Continues
Companies are continuing to lose staff to competitors, for several reasons. Static wages growth has meant that only by moving are people able to achieve a market correction to their salary. Some who faced redundancies earlier in the pandemic took the first available role at a lower rate and are now looking to get back to where they were financially. I am also finding that contractors are looking for permanent roles and some job security.
Many passive candidates are open to opportunities, particularly if they feel they are not being valued by their current employer, are being exploited in terms of workload or long hours or are working at a level below where they feel they should be.

4. Lack of International Competition for Roles
It remains difficult for expats to return home, and skilled migration is at a complete standstill. This means that recruitment in financial services is becoming more competitive than ever and it is a candidate’s market. If you are a talented, high performing financial services individual with great experience then the world is your oyster.

Because of the resilience of the financial services sector, the recruitment market is booming, and many organisations are struggling to fill roles by advertising directly.
As a specialist financial services recruiters, we play a role in advocating for our client’s brand and making a role sound exciting to a potential candidate. We take time to describe your organisation’s company culture in intricate detail and how the organisational chart reflects real world reporting lines. We unlock the candidate pool beyond those who happened to look on a jobs board at the right time. We help our clients stand out to their ideal candidate amongst the hundreds of available financial services jobs.
The longer that restrictions, and border closures continue here in Australia, the more challenging the competition for talent will be. It is an excellent time to have a trusted financial services recruiter on your speed dial.
To talk to us about your next recruitment campaign and how you can access our network of talented financial services candidates then get in touch with our Sydney based team here. We can help you find your next high performer.