Tight job market pushes employers to act quickly

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With a historically low unemployment rate of about 5% in Australia, the financial services sector continues to boom ahead at a great speed.

That's good news for candidates but a tougher market for employers out recruiting as the talent pool is thinner on the ground.

According to Angus Price, a partner from search firm Derwent Executive, it's not just investment banks and fund managers that are actively hiring but also corporates growing their group corporate development and M&A teams.

He says that whilst employment is rising at all levels, most of the demand is at the associate level (candidates with four to seven years' experience).

The tightness of the domestic market has led to a shortage of candidates, which in turns raises questions about what companies are doing to retain or attract staff. "Employers are doing a better job at keeping people and are being more aggressive in making counter offers," says Price, who adds that hiring managers are now being conditioned to act quickly when they meet good candidates so as not to lose them.

Price says that there is pressure on Australia losing local candidates to roles in Asia, particularly when it comes to the 'big' hedge funds.

The tightness we've seen in the market hasn't seen fixed cost base salaries move much. However, there has been an upward increase in variable bonus components, which are up 50%-100% versus where they were a couple of years ago.

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