2021 Finance Salary Guide
Our 2021 Finance Salary Guide provides an overview of recruitment and remuneration for finance professionals across the UK, Europe and Asia.
This year, we have gone one step further and partnered with The Pay Index resulting in the creation of one of the most in-depth salary guides on the market.
This includes reports on gender pay gaps, diversity, the impact of COVID and more.
To request your copy, please fill out this form.
After a particularly busy start to the year, there was an expected slow-down in senior recruitment activity in Q2 as organisations reviewed their Covid response plans. Our CFO community was front and centre as companies sought to get an immediate response to the economic, business performance and workforce implications of Covid. Our communities in financial control, treasury and FP&A were supremely busy.
UK & Europe
As the dust settled, we experienced a consistent demand for high quality financial control professionals and whilst the core UK market was certainly quiet, our European practice experienced strong growth at a regional CFO/FD level as well as in FP&A activities. Whether down to Brexit or geography, our European practice remained buoyant. We saw increased demand in manufacturing and technology-enabled businesses as well as those in the pharma/healthcare space.
Our key hubs in DACH, Benelux and the Nordics all experienced increased demand, not only from the larger multinationals but also higher growth PE/VC-backed businesses. The market of course, saw a distinction between the winners and losers of such restricted market activities but even in those sectors most impacted, (retail, travel and tourism) we still supported a number of organisations who adjusted their finance structures. Some even managed to upskill a number of roles providing a leaner, more skilled and agile workforce.
Finance operations, reporting, audit, assurance & controls/risk were of continued interest as organisations seek to ensure maximum control, efficiencies and visibility of activities. The importance of CFO’s and emerging CFO’s to demonstrate a true appreciation and leadership over these areas continues to be prioritised. Candidates are increasingly selective and are considering more factors before moving.
Organisations are keener than ever to hold onto their talent, and we have already seen a more significant number of buy-backs. Never has the role of the CFO been as close to the action as it is at present. They are now not just the steward of the numbers but are also the key strategic commercial adviser to the board.
Looking ahead in 2021
As the vaccine rollout continues at pace, so does the desire to return to a more normal and sustainable way of working. We believe that Covid may have paused and hindered our plans, but it hasn’t derailed them. Businesses and individuals will emerge with a stronger sense of direction and strategy, and we expect increased demand for senior finance leaders across the board.
The first half of 2020 was quiet across the commerce & industry finance sector as organisations struggled to react swiftly to the aftermath of the pandemic. With the suspension of businesses and closure of travel borders, organisations were forced to restructure internally and cut costs to survive the wave. The market was more active in the second half of 2020 as organisations took advantage of upskilling their current finance team and implement a new system to improve work efficiency.
Candidates were more conservative and cautious in making decisions for a job change as they worried about the risks and instability of the next employer. Skills in demand for 2021 Finance professionals are expected to be equipped with business partnering skills and project skills to add value to business decision-making.
Candidates with knowledge on system implementation and transformation projects are high in demand as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to be the business trend for this year. Organisations are also resorting to contract hires for short to medium-term projects in relation to system enhancement.
Looking ahead in 2021
Given the uncertainty of the market, candidates will continue to seek stability and will likely be more reserved when changing roles. Organisations continue to have a strong demand for candidates with business partnering skills and with an understanding of data analytics and RPA. It is recommended to upskill and acquire new skills for candidates to stay competitive. As we experience the ‘new norm’ of the working environment, organisations will have to increase their work flexibility and management style to continue to attract the top candidates.