Everyone knows the story: senior staff on giant salaries are being disproportionately dinged in contemporary banking layoffs as banks rush to replace them with juniors on smaller packages. It’s called “juniorisation” and implies that juniors are in and seniors are out. Or does it? What if seniors are out and juniors are out, and the most employable people are suddenly those in the middle?
This is the implication of our analysis of the ‘demographics’ of the London banking employment market by sector. In almost every sector we look at, there’s a dip in the number of people with five to seven years’ experience. – In other words, at senior associate to ‘junior VP’ level. The reason for this is pretty clear: seven years ago we were in the thick of the financial crisis; no one wanted to go into a banking career. The most employable finance professionals in London today are therefore those whose careers began in the financial crisis. The least employable are the glut of very senior and very junior people either side of them.
The chart below shows what this looks like in practice. Based upon CVs uploaded to our database by candidates who want to work in London, it shows a lack of people with 5-7 years’ experience in capital markets, compliance, equities, ‘trading’ and broadly across fixed income. By comparison, these sectors are typically very well served by candidates with either 1-3 years’ experience, or 10 years’ experience plus.
Some sectors in particular have a glut of juniors. Take trading, where 28% of job seekers have 1-3 years’ experience, or M&A where 27% fall into this category.
By comparison, the distribution of candidates by experience looks very different in areas like risk or technology. Here, it pays to be junior: there are plenty of very experienced staff on the market and very few who are starting out.