Recap of 2021 and the Estimated Trajectory of 2022 Demand for Actuaries
STRONG GROWTH IN ACTUARIAL MARKET
Despite 2021 faring only slightly better than 2020 in terms of lockdown and COVID concerns, the demand for actuarial talent continued to grow.
SKL Actuarial held up strongly to withstand not only increasing client demand but has also in fact expanded as a direct result of our ability to supply high-calibre actuarial talent in this environment.
Strong growth in the demand for actuaries across Australia and Asia has been our biggest takeaway from this year’s business.
DRIVERS OF GROWING DEMAND FOR ACTUARIES
The demand was strong from our clients in all quarters of the year of 2021 for positions from Senior Actuarial Analysts and Newly Qualified Actuaries, through to actuaries with up to ten years post qualification and more.
We believe that client demands for the sourcing of talent in the Manager, Senior Manager and even ‘Head of’ level positions is a trend that will continue in 2022 across various traditional and non-traditional actuarial areas. There is almost an ever-increasing demand for the sourcing of actuarial talent for these positions across Australia.
With the major change of implementing IFRS17 reaching its final stages, its impact is felt across the financial and actuarial function of insurers. The demand for actuaries with relevant experience and looking to conduct projects in this area, especially on the modelling side, may well continue through 2022 and beyond.
Growth in data analytics and predictive analysis teams is also driving demand for actuaries to take on non-traditional actuarial roles as evidenced by clients requesting SKL to source actuarial professionals capable of, and seeking to develop, in these areas.
Candidates with a good blend of insurance knowledge (life, general or health) along with a good understanding of data analytics techniques and the ability to think and navigate their way through “grey” areas are proving elusive to find and are highly sought after.
Newly qualified actuaries are once again highly sought after as observed through our 2021 Salary Survey.
We have analysed a reported average increase of 7% in base salary and superannuation relative to the data collected in 2020 for the respondents with one to six years post qualification experience. This aligns well with what we have gathered from the correspondence with our candidates at this level.
There was, and continues to be, strong retention measures in place for newly qualified actuaries due to a short-term supply issue from the talent pool.
Opening of the borders will prove to be a big reprieve in fixing the short-term supply/demand imbalance as Australia has historically been a net importer of actuarial talent for many years.
Fundamentally, SKL believes that we still need to look at training more high-quality graduates into the actuarial profession to meet the ever-growing demand for actuarial talent in Australia.
CANDIDATE ATTITUDES TO THE JOB MARKET AND EMPLOYER DEMANDS
This year’s candidate sentiments are heavily impacted by COVID-lockdown fatigue. Job satisfaction is on a downward trend affected by the rising levels of technology fatigue and sustained drastically reduced levels of physical connection between colleagues, management, and the employer firm or consultancy.
However, there is still a preference for the hybrid working model, with most candidates preferring 2 to 3 days in the office as working from home is now a luxury that has become a more convenient and productive norm.
Actuaries are now increasingly more aware of the volume of development opportunities and growth prospects in smaller to medium-sized organisations, especially in smaller insurers and expanding Fintech companies. There is also more recognition by these candidates of the benefits and drawbacks of working in these environments.
As a result, we have noticed that actuaries have raised their level of caution about new opportunities while still being receptive to discussing these potential opportunities with clients.
Overall, the volume of actuarial opportunities and jobs across Australia and internationally is increasing in both traditional and non-traditional fields. Being an actuary continues to be a very rewarding career.
Employers are always looking for actuarial candidates that are flexible with applying traditional actuarial techniques and have strong growth and development mindsets.