Pay in finance hits three-month high but workers unsatisfied

Average salaries for finance roles hit a three-month high in July as pay increased by 3% year-on-year, but many in the sector express dissatisfaction and say they are underpaid and badly trained

The news comes amid a growing skills shortage within the finance industry, with vacant positions outnumbering candidates.

Figures from the independent job board CV-Library indicate that despite average pay for finance roles seeing positive growth, nearly two-thirds (61.4%) of finance professionals say that they’re underpaid.

CV-Library looked at data taken from its own site over the past seven months and found that salaries have grown consistently since April 2018. But, despite average pay for finance roles seeing positive growth, a separate survey from CV-Library found that nearly two thirds (61.4%) of finance professionals believe that they’re underpaid.

 ‘As organisations struggle to find people to fill their vacancies, we’re seeing many businesses push up their pay packets, in a bid to attract the right people to their role, said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.

‘However, a separate study of ours has found that the majority of finance professionals believe they aren’t being paid enough. If you’re a disgruntled employee, or a manager, it’s worth looking at average salaries in your industry to ensure that you’re being paid, or paying, what you should be.’

CV-Library’s July Job Market Report found jobs across the finance industry increasing by 12.5% year-on-year.

While average applications for finance roles fell in July 2018, the amount of finance candidates registering their CV on CV-Library was at a three-month high.

‘With unemployment at a record low, all sectors across the UK are bearing the brunt of continued skills shortages. However, it’s clear that the appetite is there for new roles, so long as employers are willing to offer the financial packages that job hunters desire,’ said Biggins.

A new study by global specialised recruitment agency Robert Half also found that 93% of CFOs are finding it difficult to find suitably qualified recruits with a growing focus on skills including data analysis (43%), financial analysis (35%) and data forecasting (34%) and digital transformation driving demand for new skills in finance department

‘Identifying the right candidate in this current war for talent means that businesses need to define what skills and qualities are required for a successful role, then focus primarily on these alongside cultural fit,’ said Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half. ‘Defining the skills that can be learnt will allow businesses to expand their candidate pool and identify talent with the potential for long-term success.’

The news comes in the light of previous findings by the company revealed that nine in ten candidates would consider leaving a new job during their probationary period. 

‘Two major factors that lead new employees to consider leaving a job early include poor management and a lack of proper onboarding – including effective on-the-job training and personal development initiatives. This can be a crucial factor in ensuring that businesses hold on to their most talented new hires,’ said Weston. ‘Training is key to ensuring that employees are productive and feel they have an incentive to advance and grow with the company.’ 

Despite training being a vital factor in recruitment and retention, Robert Half found that only around half of companies offer external training opportunities and only 48% had internal education in place. Just 36% encouraged membership of professional organisations and 34% sponsored professional qualifications and training.

‘In today’s recruitment landscape, the importance of effective recruitment and retention strategies cannot be overlooked. As skilled professionals are now in the driver’s seat of their careers, recruitment responsibilities continue long after the contract is signed,’ said Weston. 

Report by Rob Munro

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