Wealth industry jobs most in demand


Sally Humphris

Employment prospects are looking up in our industry. “A third of wealth management organisations recently surveyed said they expected to hire more employees this year (32%),” notes Sally Humphris, Executive Director at specialist wealth management industry recruiter Super Recruiters.

“Two out of five (42%) expect to maintain staff numbers at current levels.”  

Interestingly, none said they planned to downsize, she said yesterday. “Though 16% said they expected to replace some roles with technology.”

 The roles expected to most in demand in 2020 are:

  • Sales, equally with 
  • Risk & compliance. This was followed by
  • Customer / member engagement, and 
  • Operations roles. 

Ms Humphris notes when hiring for these roles, cultural fit was considered the most important criteria by c-suite leaders, followed by proven experience and technical skills. Interestingly, there were no responses for qualifications or remuneration. 

Ms Humphris adds that technology was not solving the recruitment challenge in wealth management. “Job seekers are increasingly reporting being disheartened by the automation of recruitment in our industry. We are hearing an increasing number of complaints from skilled people applying for roles and not getting a response – even when they have all the skills and experience.

“The reason why they – in fact most of us – don’t get far is that most of us don’t understand how the job search algorithms, those digital search matching terms used in online job applications, actually work. A job ad can elicit hundreds, even thousands, of responses and many of the applications will be unsuitable. But all must be digitally or manually screened by a recruiter to identify a shortlist of appropriate candidates. You have probably noticed how some recruiters use digital technology to search LinkedIn profiles, as exemplified by those LinkedIn notes that say you appeared in so many searches this week.”
Ms Humphris notes there was a switch away from such technology by technology firms themselves! And that local human resources teams should heed this. “Amazon has abandoned its long-standing project to use artificial intelligence to automate parts of its recruitment process as it could not stop the process discriminating.

“At the other extreme, many of the HR departments in wealth management still base their decisions on gut instinct rather than facts!

“There needs to be a better balance by wealth management firms seeking staff. Algorithms and automation cannot substitute for someone who can identify and match proven performance, cultural fit, skills and personality traits with what wealth managers need.”

She suggested that while the industry disclaims that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, this is often just what HR departments need to do, to look for people who are proven performers.

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