Fintech hiring trends

FIntech Jobs Report Tier One People
Fintech Jobs Report

Welcome To The Tier One People Fintech Jobs Report.

Sydney Advertises Four Hundred Fintech Jobs!

Developers and Engineers make up more than 50% of all jobs advertised in Australia.

On the face of it, the Sydney Fintech jobs market is going gangbusters compared to every other city with almost 400 advertised positions. But when we analysed the data from advertising platforms including Seek, Indeed, Glass Door, LinkedIn, the real story was nowhere near as impressive.

Find out which jobs are in demand, who is doing the hiring and how using recruiters could be doing your business more harm than good.

Fintech Hiring Market Update
Fintech Hiring Market Update

There is a lot of uncertainty in the market which is concerning for business leaders. A Royal Commission, open banking, a looming Brexit, a general election, Apple moving into financial services, Libra. All of these things are weighing on executives minds.

Of all the discussions we have at C-Suite level, there is a common fear shared by all, from the CEO of a 10 person Fintech disrupting the market, to the CEO of a major bank.

Will the platform we are building today be relevant 12 months from now?

Technology and global markets seem to be moving so fast, most executives are struggling to keep pace. Couple that with the changing regulatory landscape and looking further than 12 months into the future is creating indecision. When decisions are finally made, the market has moved on, the goal posts have changed and so the process starts all over again!

Is The Fintech Hiring Market Stalling?

The answer is no if we look at investment numbers. But we are entering a new evolution, Fintech 2.0 and the platform play. The pressure is on for founders and executives to deliver to investors and shareholders. The challenge for scaling Fintechs appears to be plateauing top line growth or even an obsolete product/business model.

Most Fintech to date are apps/features or middle layer software solutions. But with the emergence of ‘Super Apps’ like Revolut the competition is becoming much tougher. And customers expectations are rising.

When it comes to scaling the business two options are most often considered. Grow geographically (Cover Genius and AfterPay have taken this approach) or pivot domestically. To pivot successfully requires two things; new products and people to drive the sales of new products.

Pivots are not exclusive to scaling startups. We see an increasing demand for Fintech talent from corporations pivoting their own product lines. Some are even reinventing their business models. Some examples include FSI’s, Insurers and Software companies.

Based on our assessment of the market there is significant demand for two profiles from Fintech.


Chief Product Officer/Head of Product.

Founders and business leaders seem to be crying out for commercial product managers with the ability to deliver the killer product. Indeed, the EY/Fintech Australia Census 2019 highights Product/Market Fit as the number one challenge for Fintech.

Product areas appear well stocked with those who can project manage. Strategic and commercial acumen seems to be in short supply, leading to months wasted on product development before a market fit has been established. Business leaders dream of applying Lean Startup Principles. While Product teams seem obsessed with following Agile rather than being Agile.

What is the answer?


2019 has seen an increase in Head of Product and a Chief Product Officer searches at Tier One People. We sourced 75% of shortlisted candidates domestically. 25% were international candidates. However, it is a 50/50 split on domestic and international hires made.

Based on the client feedback, it was felt international candidates demonstrated clearer commercial thinking. Most importantly, talent could point to several examples in which they had taken a product from idea to revenue generation, at scale.

It seems the product management community is acutely aware of the problem. Read this excellent blog post by Adrienne Tan https://brainmates.com.au/product-management/cut-out-product-management/


Sales Director/Head of Partnerships.

Revenue growth is hard to come by and the pressure is beginning to show signs. The sizzle of Fintech has attracted a lot of investment. Indeed 2018 saw an all time record for Fintech investment in Australia. And with the additional investment come higher expectations.

I wrote of this phenomenon three years ago, when SaaS businesses went on huge hiring sprees for business development managers.

We are seeing increased demand for people who can bring in new business. Especially significant corporate partnerships that will make an immediate and long term impact on revenue growth.

B2B sales is complex. Deals can take anywhere from 6 – 18 months. B2B2C deals may not take as long, but with API integration to be factored in, there is a heavy dose of project management required to onboard any new client. Deals are fragile and complex with technology and regulatory roadblocks often leading to months of work being wasted.

The market is reacting with an increasing demand for Partnerships Directors. These are rare people indeed. A Partnerships Director must possess the hustle and entrepreneurial drive of a sales person. But with empathy/relationship building and well developed project management skills. If that wasn’t difficult enough to find, strong product knowledge and hands on operational experience is considered essential to the role.

Tier One People have had success sourcing talent from the UK and US markets which are more accustomed to this model.


Design Thinking For Hiring.

Our clients seem to be experiencing better outcomes by adopting a design thinking approach to hiring. Over the last year we have been working with a small group of trusted clients on a new approach to recruitment. It has been so successful that two clients saved close to $500,000 when after our consultation, they realised they didn’t need to hire!

If you would like to find out more on Design Hiring listen to this Interview with Tier One People founder, Dexter Cousins.


Australia's OpenBanking Revolution Blog
Australia’s Open Banking Revolution

When Will Australia’s Open Banking Revolution Begin?

With Open Banking reforms set for July 2019 we have seen the launch two new Digital Banks in Australia, 86 400 and UP Bank. Cuscal backed 86 400   has serious funding and weight behind it with Anthony Thomson, founder of Atom Bank in the UK, as Chair for the bank.

86 400 is still to receive a full banking license and hopes to launch it’s first products early next year. The executive team is in place, in execution mode and there is significant hiring behind the scenes.

UP, backed by Bendigo Bank has quietly entered the market place with  prepaid card offering. The UX is super slick with an account set up in minutes via the app. The card is beautifully designed and the app itself let’s you track your spending on the card. It is an encouraging start.

Judo Capital announced the second-largest fundraising round in Australian start-up history and expects their full banking license by the end of 2018.

Xinja meanwhile recently held their first AGM and announced series C capital raise valuing the business at AUS $95m. With regulators yet to grant Xinja a restricted banking license the raise is conditional on securing a license.

We are hearing that Neo Banks are turning capital away, significant amounts. Australian consumers and investors are raring to go.

Volt Bank, the only licensed Neo Bank in Australia is quietly going about their business. There is significant hiring with the business now over 70 people strong. Most hiring is on the development side but as yet, the mobile app has not been released. Volt Bank Deputy CEO Luke Bunbury was speaking at Mumbrella recently talking about distrust of banks. And he is 100% on the money.

Everybody wants Neo Banks

Recruiters are having a hard time right now trying to convince top talent to join the big 4 banks. And top talent of the big 4 banks and financial institutions seem eager to move on. The enquiries are so great in numbers that we are actually having to turn candidates away from large financial institutions. While we would love to help, the career transition from large corporate to startup is difficult with many people failing to make the leap. And many people in banks offer a very narrow skill set. When you consider CBA has 40,000 staff a Neo Bank will only need 400 staff. So it doesn’t look pretty for career bankers, especially the support staff in operations, finance etc.

Despite the high risk involved and the fact that even the licensed Neobanks in Australia are yet to offer a single product, top talent are showing a strong desire to switch.

Peers in the UK are witnessing a similar trend. Contacts at the Global Search firms in London tell me it is a real struggle to fill the top banking jobs. Executives would prefer to join a Fintech where the regulatory sandbox is making life easier, the rewards greater and the opportunity to build and drive change in the industry fulfilling.

What is holding Australia back?

Asian Investment in Fintech has increased significantly in the past 12 months and the UK is 5 years ahead of where Australia is now. Despite the efforts of UP, Judo, Xinja, Volt, 86400, Qwid and Douugh, Australians have the choice of one product, a prepaid card. In contrast, ANT Financial in China has a 30 day Go To Market turnaround for new products. It raised US $14bn earlier this year.

Who is to blame for the lack of progress?

The Royal Commission appears to be making life for new entrants super tough and the stance of regulators is clearly stunting innovation and progress. While third world countries advance at a rapid rate, it appears the only ship not rising with the tide is Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Hon Scott Morrison MP gave an impressive and encouraging speech at the Annual Fintech Awards dinner in Sydney recently. He made it explicitly clear the Open Banking programme is a priority with the Government relying on the Fintech industry “not to stuff it up”. If successful, Open Banking will be used as the template for all future Australian innovation. Scott Morrison has put a flag in the sand with Australia’s Open Banking initiative set to go live 1st July 2019. He seems personally and politically invested in Open Banking, he can’t afford for it to be his NBN!

But July 2019 is only 11 months away!

How much time and energy are we seeing wasted at innovation hubs, conferences and meetups? Are we guilty of confusing motion with progress?

(Read this great opinion piece, “ecosystem is not a safe word” by one of my favourite commentators on Fintech, Leda Glyptis)

The regulatory sandbox seems to be filled with quicksand. How many Fintech startups are spending time, energy and precious resources pandering to regulators? Waiting months for a response, only to be asked to fill out more forms, answer more questions, when a 30 minute meeting could quickly resolve any minor queries halting progress.

Quietly, small businesses and start up founders are being driven to despair (and often out of business) while corporate, government and regulators appear more interested in perception than progress.

I am convinced Australia has the talent, ideas, capital and capability to be the leading Fintech innovation hub.

So what are the regulators waiting for? Would more progress be made if the spotlight was put on ASIC and APRA?

Check out Our latest Fintech jobs

Executive FinTech Jobs

Executive FinTech jobs in the the pipeline for Q2

It has been a busy couple of weeks networking with VC partners, private equity managers and founders. And there appears to be an increase in executive Fintech jobs across the board.

The companies whom appear to have real momentum sit across artificial intelligence, payments technology, insurtech and regtech. The FinTech space is going strong, but the highest growth is coming from less mature segments.

At this stage, we are mainly receiving Sydney based enquiries. Melbourne and Asian based opportunities may come live towards the end of Q2.

The discussions on talent have all been very similar with a clear need across three areas.

HR – TECH – FINANCE

HR Consultants

We expect at least 3 clients in scale up mode will require the services of senior HR specialists:

  • Org redesign, talent benchmarking and workforce planning.
  • HR health checks.
  • Performance frameworks, L&D and recruitment strategies.
  • Culture, values and executive coaching.
  • The assignments could be anything from a few weeks to long term, part time gigs.

 

Chief Technology Officer

Our client is a late stage startup in the payments space gaining momentum. About to secure funding and recently entered into a partnership with a major distribution partner:

  • Build and lead a top development team.
  • Drive product development strategy.
  • Support the CEO in growing the business.
  • Skin in the game before series B funding.
  • The role would best suit a software engineer/developer who is entrepreneurial.

 

Chief Financial Officer

A VC client is on the lookout for CFOs to support two portfolio businesses in scale up mode. Both businesses operate in the data and artificial intelligence space.

  • Build an enterprise class finance function.
  • Support the CEO with strategy.
  • Ensure financial integrity.
  • Raise capital.
  • Must have previous running an IPO – it is a deal breaker.
  • The role would best suit a diverse CFO with startup and corporate experience.

 

Check out Our latest Fintech jobs

Sydney Fintech Jobs
Sydney Fintech jobs update

Sydney Fintech Jobs

At Tier One People, we get to work with some amazing startups in Fintech and Insuretech. January has got off to a flier, so here is the first Tier One People Sydney FinTech jobs update of 2018.

There is an air of optimism that Fintechs will be a success. But the two challenges facing every FinTech and InsurTech? Funding and hiring great people.

The funding issue may no longer be an issue. Last week saw Australia’s first ever crowdfunding equity raise. The raising for Xinja (Australia’s first NeoBank) was carried out by Equitise. AUS$500,000 was raised in one day and everyday Australians (like me) have been given the opportunity to be an early stage investor in what promises to be a super exciting venture.

Congratulations to Eric Wilson and Van Le of Xinja and Chris Gilbert of Equitise.

Where are all the talented people?

Last month I had meetings with CEOs, CROs, CMOs, CTOs, CFOs and COOs. Each of them described similar people challenges – namely, hiring people who can get results in a VUCA environment with limited resources. Interestingly only CTOs mentioned technical skills as their biggest problem (even then they can outsource). As one CEO put it, ‘I need people who are prepared to work seven days and can get sh!t done.’

It is clear that the education system and corporate structures are failing to prepare people for the new demands of the startup/high growth business model. If you are serious about a career in Fintech, then you need to master the art of ‘getting sh!t done’. Despite what you read in the press, startups are not all about free yoga, beanbags and as much alcohol as you can drink.

Thinking about a move to Fintech? Tier One People are running a free event in February for those looking to make the switch. Contact [email protected] for details.

In-demand talent of 2018

Finance

There has been a push recently to hire Financial Controllers and CFO’s within the Fintech space. With companies growing to enterprise level in record time (Uber started in 2009 and is now valued at $70bn), startups are recognising the need to invest in enterprise-ready infrastructure and finance functions.

Several of the mandates I have received in the past few months have been with companies less than two years old.

Risk

A big year for risk in 2018. Valuations Actuaries, Cyber Security and Regulatory Compliance people in hot demand.

Tech

No change here.

Full stack developers – Yaaaawwn.

Machine learning, Data Science and Analytics still in huge demand.

Blockchain – Expect to see a raft of specialist recruiters in Blockchain.

C Suite

The interim C Suite market is going strong. Have you ever considered utilising CXO services on a ‘pay as you go’ plan for instance?

If you are looking to grow your Fintech and need specific expertise, for events such as an IPO, acquisition or rapid growth, hiring the person you need is cost prohibitive. Tier One People connect Gig Execs to our Fintech and Insurtech clients. A Gig Exec is a highly experienced executive with specialist experience for specific business events. Readily available for short-term assignments, this is a highly cost-effective solution for FinTech founders requiring executive level support.

Sales

It turns out that making revenue from SaaS and platform solutions is rather difficult, especially if you are relying solely on PR and a digital sales strategy. Tier One People are seeing an increase in demand for Sales Directors and Business Development Managers.

Interestingly the ideal candidate is someone with broad experience in product, distribution and sales. Relationship building and strategic selling are an absolute must. Certainly no used car salesman! It seems the mantra ‘People buy people’ is truer than ever.

 

Finding great FinTech people is hard

A great initiative by Cameron Dart and Australian FinTech Jobs, a specialist jobs board for Fintech positions.  We have used the platform for several positions and the quality and relevance of candidates gets high ratings from Tier One People.

We always say to our clients hire yourself if you can and when you can’t come to us. 

Australian FinTech Jobs is generating better results for Tier One People than SEEK (and is a lot cheaper too.) If you are planning to hire direct, I recommend giving the platform a go.

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Matt Baxby Revolut CEO

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