Internal Audit hiring has been focused on SME capability, whilst IT Audit recruitment has mostly been within the Change Assurance and Electro/Algo IT Audit area.
With many big banks having over-hired in recent years, the past year has been slower in comparison with the highest volume of hires coming from within the smaller banking audit functions and Asset Management firms. Clearly, there remains a normal level of attrition across Financial Services.
The focus across Internal Audit has been on SME capability. A number of Regulatory focused roles around Financial Crime and Conduct Risk have been required, as have roles concentrating on Prudential Risk areas of Capital & Liquidity and there’s been continued demand for Market Risk auditors. The level of hiring within core Internal Audit has been relatively even between AVP and VP level. That said, few newly qualified roles have been available; it seems employers want to attract professionals with greater experience.
IT Audit recruitment has largely been within the Change Assurance and Electro/Algo IT Audit area. Uniquely, there has been hiring for regulatory driven requirements, such as the establishment of new Financial Crime IT Audit teams. The majority of this has been aligned with permanent hiring, due to the desire to develop SME knowledge within organisations and the need to then retain that knowledge. Most Tech Audit hiring has been at Senior Manager/VP levels. This signals a switch from vast hiring at the execution level seen in recent years, to the demand for strategic and relationship management level roles. These positions are needed to ensure the effective delivery of complex audit portfolios.
Flexible working has been a key selling point from organisations, in particular when monetary increases are not what they used to be. The ability to offer remote working 1 or 2 days a week, with flexible hours, can be the deciding factor persuading job seekers to accept a position. This is especially so when an individual is at a senior level and is likely to have more commitments outside of work.
Regulatory audit roles that focus on wide areas of regulatory issues have been prevalent, covering Financial Crime, Conduct Risk, Compliance and Legal. Professionals from a 2nd line compliance function also had opportunities to move to a 3rd line audit role.
There has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of Electronic Trading audit roles. This has offered the opportunity for IT focused professionals to transition across to core Global Markets audit roles.
Certain emerging tech audit/risk vacancies have given technical auditors/risk professionals, preferably from a software development background, the chance to help start new IT governance teams. Typical areas of focus for these positions encompass robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, blockchain, DevOps, Agile and SDLC.
Job seekers need to be mindful of the less buoyant hiring market. Whilst there are still plenty of roles available, they have more specific technical requirements and employers are often happy to wait for the perfect applicant. This lack of urgency can be frustrating, especially if you are involved in multiple processes. It’s crucial to be patient and keep your recruitment consultant fully appraised as to where you are with all processes. This way, they will be able to better manage expectations on both sides.