What 700+ finance job adverts reveal about the uk market

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Jordie Black
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Recent data shows a clear shortage of talent in financial firms . This shortage falls into two main categories: firstly, there's a fierce competition among organisations to secure top talent. Secondly, as the industry becomes more digitally advanced, there's a growing need for candidates with unique, specialised skills. This suggests that firms are struggling to find and hire individuals with the necessary expertise.

On the other hand, research indicates that effective employee onboarding and a strong employer brand can significantly attract candidates. This suggests that firms which excel in these areas should not face a talent shortage as severely, as they would be more appealing to potential recruits.

However, there's a noticeable discrepancy between these findings. The contradiction is that, despite the apparent effectiveness of good onboarding processes and strong branding in attracting candidates, financial firms are still experiencing a significant talent gap. This raises questions about what is causing this gap and whether other factors are at play in the financial job market.

This contradiction spurred an in-depth investigation into the UK's financial employment market.

Our study involved analysing over 790 current financial job adverts, on LinkedIn, in the UK, during January 2024. We aimed to understand application trends in finance, examining factors like salary transparency, roles and attracting most applicants, and how experience and contract type affect application numbers. We also assessed the influence of job posting timing on attracting applicants. Our objective was to uncover trends and insights to enhance talent acquisition strategies in finance.


In 2024, the financial sector's job market emerges as highly competitive, with experienced and senior professionals in high demand. Salary transparency has become a crucial factor in drawing candidates. Additionally, a company's reputation, job security, and location significantly sway applicant decisions. This shift in power, places candidates in a position to choose roles that best align with their career goals and personal values.

Across the job listings studied, the sheer volume of applications indicates a substantial pool of candidates. Despite the scarcity of certain skills, there are still many individuals ready to apply to roles that align precisely with their qualifications and aspirations. 

The importance of salary disclosure

It goes without saying, (and it’s been said many many times before), but including the salary, or at least a salary range, in your job description is not only good practice for transparency, but increases the number of applications.This trend highlights the growing importance of transparency in compensation, suggesting that candidates in 2024 highly value and expect clear information about potential earnings.

Jobs without disclosed salary: 445

Jobs with salary range provided: 349

Average salary range gap

The average gap between the minimum and maximum salary for jobs with disclosed ranges is approximately £10,071.

Salary gap variation based on experience level:

Director Level: The average gap is around £16,136.

Executive Level: The gap significantly increases to about £33,889.

Mid-Senior Level: The gap is around £8,880.

Entry Level: The gap is much lower at around £3,332.

These findings suggest that the salary range gap varies notably with the experience level required for the job, with executive-level positions showing the largest gaps.

Salary expectations based on experience level:

For 'Director' level: 71 without salary disclosed, 39 with salary range

For 'Mid-Senior level': 202 without salary disclosed, 209 with salary range

For 'Associate' level: 50 without salary disclosed, 60 with salary range

Lower levels like 'Entry level' and 'Internship' show fewer jobs with salary disclosed.

These results indicate that jobs with disclosed salary ranges tend to receive more applications on average. The prevalence of salary disclosure varies across experience levels, with 'Mid-Senior level' having a notable number of job posts with salary information.

Applicant’s choice

Certain financial roles and sectors, especially those in technology financial instituitions like FinTech, seem to be more attractive to applicants. This could be due to perceived growth opportunities, the innovative nature of the industry, or more competitive compensation packages.

Full-time and contract roles in finance tend to attract more applications than part-time or temporary positions. This preference could reflect a desire for job security or the benefits associated with full-time and contractual work.

Geographical variations: The location of the job significantly impacts applicant numbers. Financial hubs or areas with a high concentration of financial services likely draw more applicants, possibly due to the clustering of opportunities and networking possibilities in these regions.

Candidates are in demand

Higher-level positions, such as executive or director roles, receive more applications than entry-level or internship positions. This indicates a robust job market for experienced professionals and possibly a high level of competition for senior roles in the financial sector.

High-paying roles such as Chief Financial Officer, Risk Manager, and positions in strategic finance command top salaries. This reflects the high value and demand for strategic, risk management, and leadership skills in finance.

Not surprisingly, in line with the number of applications, mid-senior level roles were most likely to disclose the salary of the role.


Early insights indicate future job posting success

Recent data reveals a decline in interest for job listings advertised for over two weeks. Contrary to expectations of a steady or increased flow of applicants, such positions often stagnate. Job seekers show a clear preference for fresh listings, underscoring the need for employers to attract candidates swiftly.

To mitigate this trend, employers must focus on early engagement. An effective strategy involves optimising job listings for discoverability. Incorporating keywords that potential applicants are likely to use can make a significant difference.

Analysis of successful job listings shows a common thread: the use of specific terms such as 'team', 'management', 'experience', and 'skills'. This trend suggests a demand for candidates who possess a mix of technical abilities and interpersonal skills, highlighting the value of a well-rounded professional profile.

Strategic recommendations

Emphasise salary transparency: Given the clear preference for salary transparency among candidates, ensure all job listings include detailed salary ranges. This approach not only attracts more applicants but also fosters trust and transparency.

Highlight technological advancement and training opportunities: With a growing demand for technically skilled professionals, it's important to showcase the technological aspects of the role and the company. Include information about training opportunities and career advancement paths, especially in tech-forward areas like FinTech.

Focus on senior roles and growth Potential: As there's a notable interest in higher-level positions, job listings should emphasise opportunities for growth and leadership development. Highlighting these aspects can attract experienced professionals looking for upward mobility.

Improving hiring practices: Understand and adapt to the prevailing preference for full-time and contract roles. Consider offering more secure, long-term contracts to attract candidates seeking stability and career progression.

Strengthen employer branding: A strong employer brand is key in a competitive job market. Enhance your online presence and reputation through active engagement on professional networks, showcasing company culture, and highlighting employee success stories.

Incorporate soft skills and team dynamics in job descriptions: Candidates are not just evaluated for their technical expertise but also for their soft skills and ability to work in a team. Reflect this in job descriptions to attract well-rounded candidates.

Customise the recruitment process: Tailor the recruitment process to reflect the role's specific demands. For technical roles, include practical assessments that demonstrate real-world scenarios. For leadership roles, focus on strategic thinking and problem-solving capabilities.

Feedback and continuous improvement: Regularly gather feedback from candidates about their experience during the hiring process. Use this feedback to continually improve your approach, ensuring it aligns with candidate expectations and market trends.

By implementing these strategies, financial organisations can not only attract top talent but also position themselves as employers of choice in a highly competitive market.

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