Two thirds of finance professionals ready to walk

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More than 65% of financial and accounting professionals are on the lookout for a new role – mainly because they want a higher salary, a major survey has revealed.

The Hudson Salary & Employment Insights survey canvassed the views of more than 5,000 employers and 5,700 employees in Australia and New Zealand.

The accounting and finance (A&F) sector showed higher-than-average statistics of employees who said they were actively or passively seeking a new role. Furthermore, of those wanting to move on, more than 60% said they expected to do so within the next six months.

Christopher Potter, Director A&F Practice, Sydney Hudson Australia, told Wealth Professional that employee flight risk is a major risk in 2014, and the consequences for the financial services industry could be costly.

“With many employers working longer and harder and feeling less secure, organisations could face a triple cost scenario: the costs the costs of a disengaged workforce, the costs of high staff turnover, and the costs of losing key talent,” he said.

According to the survey, the number one priority of the majority of job seekers looking to move on was more pay.

Part of this driver has come as a result of the market conditions, Potter said.

“Over the past 5 years salaries have gradually recalibrated to reflect market conditions and bonuses have reduced,” he said. “Also 40% of A&F employees indicated they would stay in their current role if they received a pay rise.”

Unfortunately, the A&F sector has seen very little movement in terms of salary increases over the past year, with most employees not getting more than 2-3%. Potter said that while historically employees would normally get a raise when they moved jobs, this is no longer the case, and is keeping salaries low.

The survey showed that other reasons to move on included the desire to find a more interesting role, and wanting to find a role with better career opportunities.

And while it recognised that budgets were tight especially with Australia being at a challenging point in its economic cycle, the report recommended that to counter unhappy employees, forward-thinking businesses could provide platforms that enable them to develop their own career paths.

“Organisations should consider revisiting engagement strategies for all staff,” said Potter. “They also should consider revisiting leadership development strategies for managers and leaders to ensure they are able to lead effectively in rapidly changing markets.