If you’re looking for a nice easy banking job which you can semi-stroll into and where you won’t be threatened by a huge body of impeccably qualified candidates who are out of the market and would love your seat, you need to choose your sector carefully. Our own data suggests some areas of finance are far shorter of talent than others right now.
We looked at the number of jobs advertised by sector on eFinancialCareers since March, and the average number of applicants for each role. Our analysis suggests the City of London is short of candidates across three key areas: quantitative finance, technology and compliance. By comparison, Wall Street is short of candidates across compliance, technology and…(surprisingly) hedge funds.
Ok, landing jobs in these sectors isn’t exactly easy: there are still 12 or more candidates chasing each job. However, it’s much easier than, say research, where the number of candidates chasing each role in London is much higher – as per the charts below.
London recruiters confirm the ongoing shortages of technology, quantitative finance and compliance talent. “Banks are really feeling it at the top end in terms of tech hiring,” says the head of one technology search boutique, speaking off the record. “It’s the top two or three per cent they’re after and those are the people who are joining technology firms instead.” The head of a quant hiring firm says tech firms are depleting London quant talent too: “You’re seeing a lot of quants joining technology firms which pay 50% more than banks.”
Broadly recruiters say banks are still looking for the “same old” programming talent, with Python and C++ still popular. Robert Calhoun, director at tech recruitment firm Hipparchus Financial, says candidates versed in Agile methodologies are also in short supply, as are those familiar with DevOps.- Banks need candidates with both methodologies as they update legacy systems on an ongoing basis.
In compliance, James Findlay at recruitment firm Selby Jennings says the shortage of compliance advisory specialists is most notable. Most banks are starting to automate their compliance roles, but Findlay says advisory jobs are immune to automation because traders need advisors to actually talk to as they structure trades. For this reason, too, not just anyone can walk into compliance advisory. “In compliance advisory you need a relationship with the traders,” says Findlay. “If you don’t have their trust, they’re going to push back.” For this reason, he says the top compliance advisors at vice president (VP) level can earn £150k ($167k) plus a 30% bonus.
Wall Street talented shortages are similarly situated – with the exception of hedge funds, which mark a surprise contender for a shortage of talent. If U.S. hedge funds are comparatively short of applicants, the same can’t be said for commodities trading houses, which appear to be benefiting from the surplus of commodities professionals after banks like Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan curtailed commodities trading activities. This is good news for commodities recruiters, but bad news for candidates. With 27 people chasing each U.S. commodities job in March and April, getting hired here isn’t going to be easy.
eFinancialCareers data also suggests that things are getting harder for equities professionals in London. Equities job vacancies were down 66% year-on-year in March and April while candidates per available equities job were up by a similar amount to 15. It’s still a lot easier to get a job across equities in the City than it is to get a job in research, but if you’re looking you might want to move soon. – The trend is clearly against you.