“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got “ Henry Ford
One of the many benefits of working with an alternative lender or a company who are in a growth phase is that you often get to experience more than just the job specification. The 2017 market highlighted that employers were looking to bring talented analysts, underwriters, credit managers and risk managers onto their teams; yes, having a strong academic background and prior experience in credit/risk/SME lending is a distinct advantage but having a genuine enthusiasm for wanting to be in a hands on role and taking on projects outside of the job specification cements where you can add value to a new employer.
During 2017, there was a consistent demand for talented credit underwriters and credit analysts who have strong assessment, analysis skills and who could identify key risks in a lending situation and outline provisions as required. In the latter part of the year (Q3 & Q4) there was a shortage of candidates with 2 - 3 years experience. Having experience within SME, business finance, payments, mortgages and CRE was highly desirable, given these were the areas that were expanding at a steady pace.
Experienced credit managers were also sought after; moving from a competitor was considered attractive given the pace at how the market is evolving and how important it is to stay a step ahead of the curve in terms of product knowledge and regulation. Consistent and strong people management skills were an important part of many profiles given the deal flow that was expected and SLA’s being carefully monitored.
Surprisingly in Q4 we also saw a peak in mandates for graduates with 1 - 2 years experience; ideally having a business qualification along with programming or advanced excel skills to assist with modelling projects within credit and risk was preferred.
Given the impact alternative lenders and Fintech organisations have made on the market, we predict that their presence and capabilities will continue to expand and excel throughout 2018.
If you are considering making a switch to a start up or Fintech environment we would recommend giving some thought to the following: