The Advisory Career

Today’s Advisors: Confident in Job Security But Not the Market

New views on the global labor market

The Selby Jennings Job Confidence Index coincided in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, as financial professional around the world look toward the future, both short and long term. Access the full report here.

NEW YORK, June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Financial services professionals are confident in their job security despite being negative about the economic outlook, according to a new survey by Selby Jennings.

Over half (57%) of global respondents feel confident in keeping their jobs over the next six months, despite the majority (62%) foreseeing a worsening economy over the next year.

The results are from the Selby Jennings Job Confidence Index, which measures confidence in the labor market. The index reports on 900+ professionals’ confidence in the economy, holding or getting a job, compensation and bonus, and whether the normal push-and-pull factors have changed.

Key findings include:

  • The majority (62%) of professionals predict a worsening economy over the next 12 months.
  • Job security remains stable, with over half (57%) of global financial services professionals feeling confident about keeping their jobs over the next six months.
  • Half (49%) of professionals are satisfied with their current job.
  • Despite a negative perception of the job market, one third (33%) are planning to leave their job within six months.
  • 2 in 5 financial services professionals say their compensation is likely or highly likely to increase. However, the majority (70%) say that career progression opportunities, not compensation, would persuade them to seek new employment.

Excerpts from the Selby Jennings2020 Job Confidence Index

Selby Jennings engaged with over 900 experienced financial services sector career professionals across the globe, surveying professionals in the APAC region from February to March 2020, and in the US and Europe regions from March to April 2020. Coincidentally, these survey periods roughly coincided with the timeline of the COVID-19 outbreaks in the respective regions.

In 2020, there is one story dominating economies, businesses, hearts and minds across the globe:COVID-19. Countries around the world have had a coronavirus-shaped hole punched through their economies, and financial institutions everywhere are dealing with the aftermath. Global gloom over economic outlook, the coronavirus pandemic is causing the single greatest shakeup to the global economy in our lifetimes, presenting unparalleled challenges and turmoil. As a result of disruptions to normal economic activity around the world, the World Bank is forecasting a 5.2% contraction in global GDP this year, while the World Trade Organization expects world trade to fall by 13% to 32% in 2020.

It therefore comes as no surprise that across the board, perceptions of the economy are grim, with the majority (62%) of respondents predicting a worsening economy over the next year. Positivity about the current job market is also generally low, with half of global respondents (49%) viewing it as negative or very negative, and less than 1 in 4 (23%) feeling positive or very positive – again, a predictable result in the context of a global pandemic that has impacted workers throughout the world.

Regional Differences In Sentiment

Despite the current challenges to the global economy, it is encouraging that overall, job security confidence in finance professionals remains fairly stable, with over half (57%) of global respondents feeling confident or very confident of keeping their jobs over the next six months...

Despite the overall negative sentiment across the globe, our survey has also revealed some regional differences in financial services employee sentiment, which may be related to the timing and management of regional COVID-19 outbreaks, as well as local market conditions.

Respondents in APAC tend to be:

  • Less negative about the job market, especially at the very negative end, with only a small proportion ‘very negative’ compared to Europe and the US
  • Most likely to receive a bonus
  • More confident about job security and their ability to find another job than their global counterparts

Respondents in Europe tend to be:

  • Most negative about the economy and least confident about job security compared to APAC and the US
  • Least likely to receive a wage increase or bonus
  • Least satisfied with and most likely to leave their current job.

Respondents in the US tend to be:

  • Most confident that the economy will improve in the next year
  • Most likely to receive an increase in compensation
  • Satisfied with their jobs but willing to relocate for career progression and lifestyle factors

Bright Spots

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as our survey has also revealed some points of positivity.

Despite the current challenges to the global economy, it is encouraging that overall, job security confidence in finance professionals remains fairly stable, with over half (57%) of global respondents feeling confident or very confident
of keeping their jobs over the next six months. Not only are respondents likely to keep their jobs, they are also more likely than not to receive a bonus this year, with over half (53%) receiving the same or an increased bonus compared to last year.

These results may indicate that financial services firms are in a better position to ride out the current downturn than many other sectors, and they have a crucial role to play in helping to steer the economy through the crisis. The results may also reflect the caliber of respondents in the survey group – mid-senior professionals, many of whom occupy business-critical, revenue-generating roles that are particularly essential during this time.

The more positive outlook in Asia also represents a bright spot in the global landscape – as the first region to be hit by COVID-19, but also having learned from the hard lessons of SARS, many Asian countries were better prepared to manage the pandemic and it is widely expected that Asian markets will be the first to bounce back.The Selby Jennings Job Confidence Index surveyed over 900 financial services professionals via an online survey. It ran from March to May 2020.




About Selby Jennings
Selby Jennings is a leading specialist recruiter for banking and financial services, across specialist sectors including risk management, legal and compliance, investment management, quantitative analytics, financial technology, investment banking, insurance and actuarial, commodities, and sales and trading.