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On the rise

Internal audit jobs

There has been a dramatic increase in the demand for internal auditors since the second half of 2009.

While quite a few candidates are still not prepared to risk moving jobs, many have been headhunted or tempted into specific opportunities.

The number of companies hiring within financial services has risen since 2008. Despite high expectations from clients, they are increasing packages for current employees in order to retain staff and prevent them from entering the recruitment market. If counteroffered, candidates’ salaries were increased by up to 25% to retain them, as firms accept that top quality auditors are an expensive commodity to replace.

The increased demand in 2010 for internal auditors was due to large scale recruitment campaigns and an increased profile in corporate governance across many financial service institutions. Internal audit recruitment campaigns at some of the larger banking groups resulted in far more internal audit vacancies at both the larger financial service institutions, as well as smaller niche financial services firms.

Skilled internal auditors can expect up to a 15% increase in salary when they move roles, although as recruitment processes are often three stages, including case study presentations and competency based interviews, candidates must prove they can add value to an institution to obtain an attractive offer. Clients have realised they cannot tempt the best candidates with equivalent salaries.

The hiring of contract staff for large scale projects has increased with attractive daily rates on offer, so candidates hit by redundancy in 2008 / 2009 are mainly re-housed in new positions. The Big 4 have been volume hiring, in particular looking for external auditors or internal auditors from the banking, investment management and insurance sectors. A proportion of internal and IT audit professionals see senior management roles within the Big 4 as excellent opportunities to develop their management experience; unfortunately they have often been unable to sustain their newly qualified employees. The professional services firms have seen losses of these high calibre auditors to the banking community, with many going into reporting, product control or internal audit roles. Replacing these individuals is not easy, as financial services firms tempt newly qualified professionals with inflated salaries and benefits packages to attract the top talent.

The insurance sector has also been strongly hiring over the summer months at the newly qualified level, although many candidates with this sector experience would love to make a move into the banking sector, even though insurance firms often offer a better work / life balance. Whilst the economic recovery starts to improve, we expect demand for internal and IT auditors to continue to expand as we move into 2011. The major shortage of business auditors and technical IT auditors has made recruitment in this sector difficult and this seems set to continue.

To discuss this or any other aspect of corporate governance recruiting, contact your local Hays office.