2023 Salary Survey: Market update

two women in meeting

For more than 20 years, employers and professionals alike have relied on the Robert Walters Salary Survey to help them make critical decisions for their businesses and careers.

To prepare for the Salary Survey's 2023 launch, we asked Martin Fox, Managing Director – Canada, to provide an update on the recruitment market, share his strategies to recruit and retain top talent as well as hiring trends he expects to see throughout 2023.

In 2022, what were some of the top trends across legal, compliance and operations?

Throughout 2022 we experienced a buoyant recruitment market across legal, compliance and operations. Within compliance, we saw an influx of fintech and payment firms seeking to get regulated in Canada and thus requiring chief compliance officers to lead their registration process and build new teams. Regulatory compliance officers with 3+ years of investment management compliance experience were in high demand across the market as firms continued to bolster their in-house knowledge to keep up with regulators’ increasing demands. Mid-level investment operations positions, especially across client services and trade support, were steadily available throughout 2022 as more traditional and well-established firms increased their attention on retaining and improving their service to existing clients to compete against new fintech investment platforms and other new market entrants.

As we move into 2023, which skill sets will be in highest demand?

Lawyers with niche skill sets in private equity, real estate, fintech and healthtech are and will continue to be in high demand in 2023. As businesses deal with head count constraints and need experienced staff to meet business requirements, mid to senior level compliance professionals will be highly sought after. Demand for candidates with OSC experience will increase as will privacy hiring with the implementation of Bill 64 in Quebec and the anticipated rollout of C-27 across Canada. As many firms compete to broaden their product and service offerings in 2023, wealth management lawyers will also be highly sought after.

Which skill sets will be in highest demand and in shortest supply in 2023 across accounting & finance?

In 2023, accounting & finance professionals with system implementation and technology skills particularly data analysis and data interpretation, will be in high demand. There will be an increased need for financial candidates with strong commercial acumen and business partnering skills where they are required to be more involved in operations by supporting and making decisions that impact the bottom line. As a result of acquisitions and start-ups entering the Canadian market, those with M&A and capital-raising skills will also be highly sought after. Big 4 CPA’s, as always, continue to be in demand as companies scale and further require talented SFA’s to join their teams. Interpersonal skills are the differentiator between good & average, which causes an imbalance of supply vs demand. Tax and internal audit specialists will also be highly sought after but in short-supply at the more junior-mid-levels (SFA-manager) as the skillset is niche.

What do you expect will happen to salaries and what is your advice to those looking to recruit and retain top talent in 2023?

We expect most employers to address the cost of living and inflationary pressure by offering salary increases of 3-6%, with some intimating as much as 10% for their current employees. When it comes to recruiting talent, hiring managers need to have a clear plan for search processes and stick to tight timelines. Top candidates typically have 3-5 interview processes going at any one time and often favour the companies that can get their interview rounds done in quick succession.

Be prepared for more candidates to focus on work/life balance, hybrid work policies and benefits (especially around mental health resources). These lifestyle items have become key criteria for candidates post-pandemic. To retain top talent, have a clear progression/promotion plan in place for every team member that is based on tangible and achievable goals that you are revisiting with your employees quarterly.

Ready to learn more? Request access to the Robert Walters Salary Survey today.


Get in touch