Today’s guest blogger is Liz Carey, network coordinator for NBN. NPAworldwide and NBN merged in September 2014, and our two networks are working toward a full integration effective January 1, 2016. We look forward to having Liz as a regular part of our blogging team.
Employment in banking fields is blossoming as the industry emerges from the financial crisis. The problem is, everyone is looking for the same types of candidates, and those candidates are hard to find.
“Everybody’s looking for people from 3 to 7-8 years’ experience,” said recruiter Jim Pruitt of Bankers Crossing in PA, an executive search firm founded in 1984. “There’s actually more jobs out there than there are people. There’s such a shortage.”
The demand is hot for entry-level CPAs making under $100-110k, as well as entry-level auditors under $110-120k, Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the most secure job in the world is a CPA, as CPAs can always find work. Case in point: a recruiter in the Chicago market said she had 50 audit jobs to fill during a recent recruiter networking call.
“What’s happening is, there aren’t enough qualified people in many markets, so these banks have to hire consulting firms, and usually end up paying two to three times the cost of employee,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the challenge isn’t getting a search assignment from a company; the real challenge is what percentage of them you fill.
“Our philosophy is: take fewer jobs and have a very high closing ratio on searches we accept,” Pruitt said. “Others feel ‘I want a lot of jobs because if I find a person that’s good or close, I have more opportunities to close.’ ”
Two of the biggest areas in banking lie in compliance and risk. As government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Dodd-Frank increase in the banking industry, jobs such as compliance directors and regulatory compliance seniors will continue to rise.
Banks are also emphasizing stress testing and modeling, so there are lots of positions such as senior risk manager and liquidity manager.
“The biggest word in banking is risk,” Pruitt said. “Risk is related to audit, compliance, credit, market, insurance, and reputation.”
With interest rates at record lows, loan officer and loan processor jobs will continue to open — commercial lenders are always in demand because they’re the ones who produce income and profits for the bank by making quality loans that get paid back.
More than an impressive financial background, there’s a need for leaders. “The biggest shortage of all is people who are leaders, who are mature in terms of way they approach work, and who work well as part of team,” Pruitt said. “That’s what’s in short supply—people who are visionaries and who can influence a course of action.”
Over the last 15 years, especially since the financial crisis, interest rates have been so low, making it very hard for banks to make money. Because they are strapped for profits, many have been cutting back on training and management development programs, which took high-potential individuals and trained them in different departments to ultimately end up in a leadership position.
“That’s an impact that’s going to be more and more noticeable—finding people who can be a center of influence with other people they work with,” he said.