There have been many reports recently about Australian banks laying off staff and offshoring thousands of jobs, but recruiter Hays said there's more hiring than firing at the moment, with the biggest demand being for people in sales.
Jane McNeill, director of Hays Banking, told eFinancialCareers that according to its latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots report, phone-based lending and telesales candidates were in high demand, as were relationship managers with strong sales experience, particularly in niche areas such as trade finance and equipment leasing.
“Regulatory reform and significant restructuring projects within many of the larger banks have led to an increased demand for business analysts and project managers, regulatory and operational risk experts, and credit risk analysts and credit risk managers.
"Candidates with SQL and SAS experience are needed as SAS becomes more widely used risk modelling and reporting."
The financial advice industry was also enjoying particular growth, spurring the demand for paraplanners and financial planners with proven sales skills and strong interpersonal skills. McNeill said there was also a need for advisors who could generate complex technical plans.
“Job losses tend to be more visible than job gains, but we are seeing more jobs created than lost and there is still tempered confidence in the market and in a number of sectors.”
Even though most finance jobs were still concentrated in the main metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, a notable trend that had emerged was the need for financial advisors in regional and rural locations in most states.
The Hays survey also reported requests for finance professionals with Chinese language skills for client services, relationship management and account management roles to support the growth of Australia's bigger banks into the Asia market.
Demand in other segments
Other opportunities for finance professionals existed in lending, with a number of temporary or contract roles available to help banks deal with demand that fuelled by the low interest rates.
Dealers were in short supply, but employers needed them to bring a book of business with them, McNeill said. Hays also noted a shortage of business bankers who were willing and able to travel for regional roles.
For financial professionals considering a move to Australia, the good news was that openings were available, providing foreign candidates had the skills and met the visa requirements. One area where foreign professionals were actively recruited was in the area of quantitative analysis.
McNeill said employers often had to consider international candidates due to the domestic shortage of such skills.
And finally, for fresh graduates worried about their employment prospects, Hays said client services candidates were needed. "As this is an entry-level role, career advancement gives rise to frequent turnover and the need to replace those who have moved up the ladder."