In a further sign that the job market is not as frothy as last year, candidates are increasingly putting long-term career development ahead of immediate monetary gain, according to HR professionals from Australia's leading finance firms at an eFinancialCareers HR Roundtable held in Sydney recently.
While compensation is of course still important, finance candidates are currently looking for new opportunities with a visible career path.
According to the Head of Asia Pacific for eFinancialCareers, George McFerran, candidates are increasingly aware that markets are going to change in the future and that their careers will have to change too. “They are beginning to take a more long term outlook, and are boldly asking firms to identify from the outset what future opportunities may be present should they take the current role on offer.”
Mr McFerran also said that attracting candidates in the current market will require finance companies to highlight future internal opportunities earlier in the recruitment process.
One Australian bank is building potential career moves into job descriptions at senior analyst level and above. It's an indication that people no longer want to work in silos for the rest of their careers and that candidates are seeking opportunities for internal mobility from the outset.
Finance job seekers are also becoming more cautious about moving and are now conducting more due diligence about the employer and the role before committing to the position. Candidate caution isn’t just showing at the interview stage, and candidates are doing more of their own extensive background research into the company and the opportunity before applying for a role.
Feeling the fear
Another new development is that candidates are also becoming more reluctant to move due to uncertainty in the finance markets. This may now be felt more strongly since the downgrading of the USA’s credit rating and the resultant market reaction to the European debt crisis.
Whilst Australia is in better financial shape than many other world economies, candidates are looking very closely at overseas markets and are wondering whether now is the right time to change jobs. Leading up to the GFC there was a similar feeling about the potential impact on jobs.
“Starting a new role always contains an element of risk,” said eFinancialCareers’ George McFerran. “When there’s uncertainty, people need to feel even more sure that moving roles is the right thing to do, and so are more likely to spend time finding out all they can before making a decision. Right now companies need to be ready to provide additional information to candidates at every stage of the recruitment process to secure the best people.”