Financial Services FY2020 Recruitment Update

Financial Services FY2020 Recruitment Update


Thank you for your interest in the Profusion FY20 Job Market update. The purpose of this update is to provide you with a review of the financial services job market during 2020 whilst also outlining where the financial services employment opportunities exist in 2021.

Well, what a curveball COVID has proven to be! The job market was buoyant over the first three quarters of FY20 but took a significant hit in April as the effects of COVID kicked in.

The financial services job market has been trending upwards since the lows of April, where new jobs for the month were down a staggering -46% YoY. By the month of June, this had improved to -22% YoY.

If Profusion is a yardstick for the financial services industry, the rebound within the FS job market appears to be outpacing the broader economy. have noted a 32.8% reduction in jobs for the month of June versus the corresponding period in 2019.

Whilst there was an almost instantaneous freeze in Mid-March through April, Financial Services has proven to be an industry that can operate virtually and most employers have reinstated their hiring plans even with Victoria in lockdown. We expect that further lockdowns will not affect hiring as savagely as earlier in the year, given businesses have already adapted to, and have experience with, operating as a collective of home offices.

In this update we will focus on the job market trends within our core areas of expertise:

  • Wealth & Investment
  • Management Insurance (Life & General)
  • Banking (Retail & Corporate)
  • Technology & Project Services


Job numbers

New job numbers were ahead in the 9 months to March (+12.3% YoY), but significantly fell away in April. New job numbers are trending upwards since April.

  • FY 2020 Job numbers (1569) marginally down vs FY2019 (1577).
  • As at 31 March: Job engagements were up 12.3% on FY2019.
  • Profusion had been engaged on 1319 new roles (1174 in 2019).
  • June quarter -38% YoY with 250 jobs (2019: 403).
  • Momentum shift through the quarter – 67 jobs in April, 85 in May and 98 in June.
  • Trajectory continuing into 1H FY21, which is the more buoyant of the two 6-month periods.


Permanent/Non-Permanent numbers

Historically, Profusion has been briefed on more permanent roles than temporary and contract. However, the June quarter was the first quarter that Profusion was briefed on a higher number of T&C roles. Due to the pandemic, businesses opted for temp options as temps are less committal to headcount. Also, many CEO’s are bringing forward their technology/projects spend – many roles in this space are of a temporary/contract nature.

  • July – March – 57% Perm, 43% Temp and Contract
  • June Qtr – 44% Perm, 56% Temp and Contract




Within Financial Advice there has been a steady increase in business-critical roles as the markets have clawed back ground. The advice industry’s evolution is accelerating at an even faster pace.

Businesses that cater to Sophisticated investors are experiencing high levels of growth. Continued job growth has been observed within the advised HNW sector, specifically Private Wealth, Family Office, High-end IFA’s. Advice within the Large Corporates continues to be focused on remediation rather than growth.


Job opportunities in FY21

  • Advisers and Adviser support roles within the HNW segment are in demand.
  • Remediation, Risk and Project work within the larger corporates.


A relatively strong year for recruitment was halted when the space was put on hold from Mid-March through to Mid-April as groups adapted their operating model as they transitioned to working online.

Roles within the zone have picked up markedly and the new job pipeline into the December half looks about 70% of normal.
As the HNW sectors have seen growth, the Investment Management industry has also adapted to enhance both their product capability and also their client servicing capability.

Continual fee compression is a theme with significant inflows seen into passive managers. Many Active Managers have focused more consciously on Alternative offerings that can justify a fee premium and are not easily replicated.

Within Super Funds, we are continuing to see integration and further consolidation at the fund level and the ongoing trend of internalisation (of investment teams).


Job opportunities in FY21

  • Distribution roles for candidates focused on Advised HNW channels.
  • Investment roles within Alternatives.
  • Roles across all functions within passive managers.
  • Continued shortages in back/middle office roles.


LIFE INSURANCE (Life & General)

Life Insurance

The Life Insurance market continues to face strong headwinds in regards to rising claims costs and maintaining expenses at reasonable levels. While there has been a range of broader M&A activity over recent times which has seen a marked increase in the level of competition for new business, particularly within the group insurance sector, there is still a large amount of pricing pressure impacting premium levels. This, on top of ever-increasing claims numbers and costs, has seen most insurers struggling with profitability.

Life and Workers Compensation Insurers are beginning to see a rise in Mental Health claims as direct impact of COVID-19 from mass redundancies of loss of work and long-term isolation. However, on the flip side with this rise, the demand for Mental Health Professionals and Psychologist has risen and with many of these professionals either currently redundant or still unable to treat patients face to face, they are now switching across into insurance, securing permanent work and continuing to help clients overcome mental health injuries or claims.


Job opportunities in FY21

  • Claims staff continue to be in high demand as efficient and proactive claims management capabilities continues to be the main priority for Insurers.
  • Product and pricing as well as a range of more niche roles to meet regulatory and other market changes.
  • We have also seen several insurers driving varying levels of structural change which has seen broader senior level opportunities come to market.



As challenging as conditions have been for the banks, they have been the beneficiary of government policy thus far. A large amount of redistribution of staff has taken place across retail banking to manage high demand within hardships and financial assistance.

Home loan pipelines for a large portion have been quite steady with a higher focus on refinancing in the past month along with government support have managed to not only maintain but increase deal flow, leading to an increase in demand on broker/lending support for some. A key focus continues to be on retaining existing customers.

The Mortgage market remains competitive with rates at an all-time low and many banks looking to launch campaigns to become more competitive and attract new lending.

Within commercial banking, we have seen some redundancies due to a reduction in new applications and relationships to manage.

FinTech’s within consumer lending and payments markets are still evolving strongly.


Job Opportunities in FY21

  • Banking’s commitment to compliance regardless of external forces continues to drive demand for strong risk candidates across Australia.
  • Exceptional, well-aligned businesses are staged for growth in headcount in the coming months.




After a slowdown in March and April as companies reassessed their project priorities, we have seen a steady increase in roles across the Technology market although our pipeline of new roles is not as strong as pre-COVID.

With lower demand, we have seen some pressure on contractor rates as well as clients looking to convert roles from day rate contracts to fixed-term engagements of 6-12 months, we anticipate this change to be short term as the need for IT talent improves. Within the technology space, candidates currently employed seem more reluctant to move which is creating skills shortages within certain areas of the market.


Job Opportunities in FY21

  • Software development, particularly Java remains a tight market.
  • IT Project Services with IT Business Analysts still being actively sought after.
  • BI & Data as companies look to increase efficiency through the use of data Widespread Cloud technology adoption remains buoyant


After bottoming out in Mid-April, the market has continued to improve with pipeline levels at approximately 60%. Over the course of last quarter, remuneration softened slightly in pockets, with a handful of organisations aiming to convert daily rate contractors to max term contract or permanent positions.

From a headcount perspective, the projects space has largely maintained or increased. Portfolio rebalancing has seen pockets of discretionary projects paused, with talent reassigned to new COVID related initiatives. The exception is in General Insurance where projects headcount has dropped. COVID arrived off the back of a tough 19/20 events season that included bush fires, hail and floods.


Job Opportunities in FY21

Hiring remains strong in non-discretionary spend. The candidate market remains tight in the following areas;

  • Remediation
  • Regulatory
  • Separation & Acquisition


Want to know more?

Organise a career conversation with a relevant Profusion consultant.


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