Recruitment expectations for financial services in 2018

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CPAs with a ‘Big 4’ background and experience in the private equity sector will be in high demand in 2018, as will those possessing accounting policy and advisory skills.

We look at the key trends that drove hiring in 2017, and identify the key skills employers will be looking for in accounting and finance professionals in 2018.

"In 2017 investment management was the most active sector for accounting recruitment, with regulatory pressure from IIROC, the OSC and OSFI driving demand for middle and back office staff. CPAs with a ‘Big 4’ background were highly sought after to fill roles in fund and corporate accounting," said Martin Fox, Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada.

Within the private equity market both independent firms and the private equity divisions of large asset management and pension funds saw the largest levels of growth as investors continued to favor safer investments.

Among the banks, accounting policy and advisory teams expanded as firms prepared to adapt to upcoming regulatory frameworks such as IFRS 9. Many firms faced skill shortages when looking to secure candidates with a strong regulatory background due to high demand and limited talent pools.

Demand for senior tax and internal audit professionals was more limited, owing to a lack of movement among candidates in this group and the creation of few new positions at this level.

Salary growth was healthy in the banking and financial services sector with remuneration increasing slightly ahead of inflation. Professionals staying with the same employer were able to secure salary increases of up to 4% while those who changed roles were typically able to obtain raises of up to 9%.

2018 expectations

In 2018, recruitment levels are expected to remain buoyant with the largest financial institutions returning to active recruiting after several years of cost cutting. CPAs with a ‘Big 4’ background and experience in the private equity sector will be in high demand, as will those possessing accounting policy and advisory skills.

Increasingly, banks and financial services firms will find themselves competing to secure highly desirable junior candidates, with many millennial professionals favoring a move to the growing community of tech start-ups in the region.

Competitive salaries will be vital for employers looking to secure top talent, with 10% increases expected for professionals moving into a new role. 

Is it time to review your salary? Take a look at our top tips for negotiating a higher salary.

Or, find out what you're worth using the Robert Walters Salary Survey. 

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