New financial services jobs dependent on RBA cut

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A ‘conservative but variable uptake’ in recruitment will characterise employment in Australian financial services in 2013, with most firms reluctant to add new headcount in large numbers and candidates remaining cautious about shifting, according to a forecast report by financial services jobs board eFinancialCareers.

The report expects replacement hiring to dominate this year, with new growth being limited to a few job functions, in particular those linked to regulatory reform.

eFinancialCareers’ managing director Asia Pacific, George McFerran, says that while employers may find themselves with high numbers of applicants for most vacancies, headhunting top talent out of their secure jobs won’t be easy.

“Candidates in much of the financial sector will remain cautious and will prefer roles that offer employment stability and reasonable compensation. In a risk averse market, firms will have to work hard to promote their employer brands and the career-development advantages of the roles.”

He says that in the continued tight market, financial institutions' internal hiring teams will have increased responsibility. Firms will do what they can to reduce hiring costs and will prioritise internal mobility and cost effective recruitment strategies.

Vacancies will only be advertised externally if there is an overwhelming business justification and managers will be encouraged to use their personal networks to source people as companies emphasise employee referrals.

However, the report notes that a potential RBA rate cut could trigger a boost in hiring, particularly in areas such as residential, business and institutional lending.

“Industry-wide layoffs and back-office off-shoring is unlikely to occur on quite the same scale as 2012, as the big banks have already announced many of their tough decisions. Yet job cuts are still likely at foreign investment banks whose local headcounts are controlled by budget conscious head offices overseas.”

The watchword in superannuation will be consolidation as most large industry funds are looking to merge smaller ones into their business.

“While there may be some redundancies to eliminate back-office duplication, project management jobs will be created as well. Some super funds are internalising parts of their investment portfolio and will be recruiting investment teams in 2013.”

The hiring outlook for the later part of the year largely depends on whether confidence comes back to the market.

“If and when it does, Australians are likely to invest more in equities and we could see some growth in funds management, stockbroking, and financial planning as a result.”

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