Things have changed….
Demand for finance talent has dropped.
Everyone knows that. Demand has dropped in the short term for some companies, in the medium term for others and in the long term for some. We’ve observed a 75% decline in finance roles to market across jobs boards and amongst other recruitment companies. We expect that by Q4, assuming no renewed lock-down scenarios, we’ll be looking at a Qtr on Qtr drop of 25% year on year (# roles to market down 25% in Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019). 2021 will see further recovery but it’s going to be a while before we see a return to a pre-pandemic level of demand. Decreased demand is here to stay; for a while at least.
Supply of finance talent has increased; but not by as much as you might think.
Not everyone realises this. We’ve observed material decreases in applications across all of the major job boards in the last 5 weeks. We’ve seen numerous companies trying to hire directly cite unexpectedly low response rates. Why? Here’s a few reasons:
- Companies need finance staff as much, if not more, in the early stages of a recession as they do in a buoyant market. Also, government subsidies are making it easier for companies to retain finance staff on their payroll. These facts meant that of those who have lost their jobs to date only a small % are finance professionals.
- Even within this small group, most of the finance staff that have been let go have moved onto Covid Welfare payments and have a promise that they will be reemployed in a few months time. These people aren’t necessarily looking for a job. Some are making the most of the downtime and trusting in their jobs returning.
- Many candidates that were actively looking for a move pre-pandemic, have put their search on hold – in uncertainty people take refuge in what is certain; hence sticking with their current role for a while longer. Also, many candidates are not enthused about virtual interview processes, virtual onboarding, and on taking a job with people they have never met – there is a lot of uncertainty in that.
In uncertain times people tend to take less risk and are less likely to introduce risk; especially when it comes to their jobs. The drop in supply of finance talent does not quite match the drop in demand for finance talent, but it’s not that far off.
Supply and Demand matter in the finance jobs market – we call it recruitment economics. Right now supply and demand are in flux for finance professionals – we expect demand and supply will likely rise in tandem over the coming quarters. It does not mean there will be loads of jobs and it does not mean that there will be loads of candidates. It will still be tricky to find the right role and it will still be tricky to find the right person.
…Somethings never change it would seem.