Mid-Year Banking Industry Overview

banking industry trends

Here at Johnson Search Group, we have a team of recruiters that specialize solely in banking and finance. They have hundreds of conversations with industry professionals every day, and through their recruiting efforts, they get a great pulse on the market and hiring trends. We sat down with Tracy Isakson, our Banking Division Manager, to gain some insight into the inner workings of the banking and finance industries, here’s what he had to say:

What were the main areas of growth in the banking industry throughout the 1st half of 2019?

This has been an interesting year so far. Right out of the gates, we saw a huge hiccup with the government shutdown, which affected the SBA & Mortgage divisions.

2018 was a stellar year for SBA growth, however, it slowed significantly as the year went on. That stunted growth was then compounded with the government shutdown and the banks and lenders not being able to close on those deals. As a result, the amount of money in the economy slowed significantly, immediately affecting the hiring trends in SBA. Most organizations are not going to be able to recover completely from that during this calendar year.

As organizations are trying to handle current business development production, hiring on the sales/BDO side have slowed. So, in the SBA and mortgage space, teams are focusing their recruiting efforts on operations and support roles in the second half of the year.

On the other hand, we are seeing strong growth in the conventional Commercial Lending space again after a bit of a slowdown in 2018. Banks are looking for strong tenured RMs to bring books and produce right away. And in order to secure these top producers, they are willing to pay top dollar.

How do you foresee recruiting efforts going for the 2nd half of 2019 in the banking industry?

By all indications, we are going to continue to move RMs to new banks. Both in the C&I and CRE space in commercial lending. Additionally, I’ve noticed more core banking operations roles coming onboard this year. IT, Risk, Compliance & Accounting are seeing growth as well.

M&A activity in the banking space is shaping up to be as busy as ever for the remainder of 2019. There are a number of banks in the market poising themselves to purchase or sell. It is pretty fun to watch banks taking advantage of this market. From four projected rate hikes to now holding, the FED has changed their tune and as a result of inflation concerns, a rate cut is likely forthcoming later this year. Banking professionals are doing everything they possibly can to capitalize on that. Utilizing M&A activity, growth in real estate lending, and the cash savings, they are preparing for a strong finish to the year.

Why should banks use your recruiting firm?

Throughout the Johnson Search Group recruiting team, we have experts that specialize in working with banks and some that partner solely with Credit Unions. We know who our target clients are, and we focus our efforts on our strengths throughout the banking and finance industries.

We work primarily with banks and credit unions that are under $40B in assets. The only exception to that is in the Risk/Quant space. We successfully partner with a few banks that are larger in size to recruit these specialized roles.

In the end, we are passionate about what we do, and we will go out of our way to help you fill the urgent needs on your team! If you are in need of some talent, reach out to my team and let’s work together to navigate this tight market.