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The Battle for Top Talent: Trends Uncovered in Harrington Starr’s Latest Financial Technology Salary Survey

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Leading recruitment specialist Harrington Starr has published its highly-anticipated Financial Technology Salary Survey 2023/24, an in-depth report that provides detailed salary trends, hiring demands, and gender diversity statistics across a wide range of job roles in the financial technology industry.

A key finding of this year’s report is that following 2022’s boom year for recruitment in financial technology, to date 2023 has seen the market cool off in most sectors, particularly in big tech following a spate of mass redundancies. However, despite the slowdown in growth, salaries remain high across the board. Banks and hedge funds in particular are still offering packages that attract top talent, leaving vendors and tech firms struggling to compete at some levels.

From a trading technology perspective, here are some of the report’s highlights:

Software Engineering

There has been little change in software engineering salaries between 2022 and 2023, with slightly fewer higher-paying roles available. However, this trend may well be a reflection of higher company retention rates, indicating a stable workforce and less turnover. On the other hand, it may indicate a level of stagnation.

With the market currently saturated with talent due to significant layoffs, some software engineers are accepting lower salaries than in previous roles – particularly in the US – and there is fierce competition for the top positions. For firms who are hiring, this situation works in their favour, as they have a strong pipeline of candidates to choose from when filling their roles.

On the other hand, the competitive market also benefits top candidates, as firms looking to attract and retain the best talent are compelled to increase salary offers. The current average salary for a Software Engineer in the financial technology sector is £66.1k in London, $152.6k in US.

Infrastructure Support

The Infrastructure Support job market is looking a little more buoyant, with technology teams expanding their headcount in this area

While salaries have largely remained similar to 2022, increased competition for exceptional technologists in the infrastructure support space has given candidates greater leverage when negotiating salaries and packages. For example, many candidates are still pushing for flexible or hybrid working arrangements as part of their packages, as well as other benefits.

Engineers with skills and experience in Powershell Scripting are in particularly high demand. The current average salary for Infrastructure Support roles in London is £54.6k.

Sales and Marketing

The Sales and Marketing segment is particularly strong and growing, on both sides of the pond. There is a consistent demand for skilled sales professionals and job vacancies are outpacing the number of suitable candidates, which is driving starting salaries up. In fact, 2022 saw the highest salary budget increases in nearly 20 years, and this trend is expected to continue through 2023.

To compete for sales talent, firms are offering both higher base salaries and commissions, as well as more attractive benefits and perks, even for those with just 3 to 5 years experience. It’s interesting to note however, that companies enforcing strict in-office policies are experiencing higher turnover rates than those with more flexible/hybrid working arrangements. The survey suggests that the need for talent in this field is so great that many candidates receive 3-5 offers during their job search. Average salary in the US is $115.7k, in London £75.4k.

Product Management

With tougher market conditions and a flattening of the hiring curve following two years of salary increases, Product Management salaries are generally at the same level as the all-time highs of 2022. Packages do vary significantly from firm to firm however, with financial institutions offering benefits that vendors and tech firms find difficult to match.

With the balance having shifted slightly from the very candidate-driven market of last year, there is more now more competition amongst candidates for each new role.

Download the report for free here.

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