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Hiring in Banking and Financial Services (Contract): Candidates take the driver’s seat in 2023 hiring activities

Candidates may have prioritised job security during the pandemic, but attitudes have shifted two years on. Glen Chua, Senior Manager at Robert Walters, points to a candidate-driven market and workplace wellness as two key trends that have emerged 2022. “Right now, there are more jobs to be filled than there are talented candidates to fill them. This results in a surge of companies trying to hire, which creates a competitive job market for recruiters. The number of jobs has also skyrocketed as the economy began recovering from the pandemic. Candidates have the upper hand in the hiring process and are more willing to move out of a current role to explore a new one.”

Calls for better workplace wellness were driven by multiple factors. “The Omicron wave caused staff absenteeism and supply chain issues as workers were falling sick. Fears of an economic slowdown and global recession due to the Russia-Ukraine war and knock-on effects of the pandemic have led companies to implement layoffs and cost cuts. Candidates were feeling burnt out from extensive COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. All this combined with international borders re-opening has pushed candidates to place more emphasis on their personal well-being, employee benefits and hybrid work options when considering their next move,” Glen reveals.

Read on to find out more about Glen’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Banking and Financial Services professionals in 2023, with an emphasis on contracting roles.

Stronger emphasis on soft skills

In 2023, Glen expects that hybrid work arrangements will cement themselves as the new norm. Candidates can also look forward to competitive pay increments as companies strive to attract talent. Given economic uncertainties globally, employers are also expected to have more contract roles. 

Lastly, soft skills will also have a larger influence in hiring decisions. As Glen notes, “With work from home being so commonplace now, skillsets like communication, innovation, collaboration and time management are seen as essential.”

More talent needed in compliance, risk and ESG

The prevalence of hybrid work also means that employers are seeking out candidates who can be adaptable and have good work ethics. Other skillsets that will see strong demand include transaction monitoring and testing, business, and operational risk management and ESG.

Glen discloses, “Within the Banking and Financial Services space, some of the hottest jobs include banking compliance related roles focusing on regulatory projects, operational and Business risk roles and AML and fraud risk roles. ESG roles are also increasing in demand.”

Salaries set to rise

“Driven by a hot job market and record-high inflation, HR leaders are prepared to offer larger than usual salary increments in 2023. What’s more, despite the impending recession, we may see a short-term increase in cross-border economic activities, triggered by the re-opening of international borders,” shares Glen. “Although most people now value work-life balance over salary, there remains a shortage of good candidates on the market, so salaries will continue to go up so companies can attract and retain the best talent.”

Soft skills will also have a larger influence in hiring decisions.


Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in the Banking and Financial Services (Contract) industry in Singapore.

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