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2021 Australia Risk & Compliance Salary Guide.

Foreword by: Matthew QuinnRisk & Compliance 


Form ID:1604



Challenges in 2021 for organisations recruiting in Australia. 

The demand for risk and compliance professionals in Australia remains high despite the economic decline instigated by Covid-19. Regardless of the industry, risk and compliance functions will remain critical for businesses to meet regulatory and governance demands. 

The big challenge for companies recruiting in Australia? A shortage of risk and compliance talent in an already small talent pool.







Strong call for Risk and Compliance talent in Australia.

This comes as no surprise as the spike in risk and compliance jobs commenced right after the Banking Royal Commission was established in December 2017. Since then, the industry has been on the hunt for risk and compliance experts.

In our 2019 Risk and Compliance salary survey, we predicted that the Royal Commission’s findings will “prompt a complete upheaval of all corners of the financial services sector, and greatly impact risk and compliance jobs and salaries.”

Indeed, 2019 was an infamous year with the Royal Commission exposing scandal after scandal of misconducts and malpractices in Australia’s financial services industry. The report exposed significant vulnerabilities and shortcomings among financial service providers that greatly affected organisational culture, profitability and governance. 

The interim and contracting market has also been significantly affected in the wake of large-scale divestments and acquisitions, Covid and the resulting uncertainty around cost-cutting and restructures. We saw an increased appetite for daily rate contractors with demonstrable transformation experience with the rates climbing higher than we’ve seen in recent years. 

All of these triggers maintained the strong demand for risk and compliance professionals, which persisted through 2020 and is set to continue in 2021. 


A worldwide phenomenon.

This phenomenon is not just in Australia. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market size of enterprise governance, risk, and compliance (eGRC) is expected to reach USD 64.55 billion by 2027. “The growth of this market is attributable to the increasing demand for comprehensive solutions by organisations to overcome the reputational and monetary risks of non-compliance,” the report reads. 

The Asia Pacific region is forecast to experience exponential growth due to rising demand for risk, compliance and governance expertise, mostly to focus on strategies for merger and acquisitions. 







Assessing Australia’s talent market and motivations.

Top in-demand skills today include compliance, risk management, financial crime, regulatory change, statistical analysis, and internal audit. 

Despite the insatiable appetite for risk and compliance talent and volume of career discussions taking place in 2020, many companies have found it challenging to attract the best. 

Perceptions of uncompetitive salaries offered during the pandemic led to reluctance from the risk and compliance talent pool to leave their current roles or even consider new opportunities.


Clearly, 2020 was not the time to drop salaries and organisations that acknowledged this were able to attract the right high-quality talent into their teams. In summary, candidates needed to be woo-ed and often had the luxury of receiving multiple, competing offers. 

Just as the pandemic paved the way for remote work to be fully embraced and effectively adopted, it has equally changed candidate expectations to demand work-life flexibility and remote working benefits as a default. 


Looking ahead.

Even with vaccines approved and distributed worldwide, salaries and work-life flexibility will continue to be key incentives for risk and compliance professionals in 2021.


For risk and compliance candidates to engage, hiring managers must recognise and address these motivators. In the same way, those who fail to embrace flexible work-life benefits will continue to struggle with recruitment, retention and organisational culture. 


To learn what companies in Australia are paying their risk and compliance hires in today's market, download Ethos BeathChapman's 2021 Australia Risk and Compliance salary guide using the form above.

If you are looking to grow your risk and compliance team and do not wish to compromise on quality, feel free to reach out to us for advice and assistance.

If you are a risk and compliance professional considering your new challenge, we welcome your connection. Search here for risk and compliance jobs in Australia.


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Matthew Quinn utilises his investment management and institutional banking background to connect talent in Australia's Risk Management and Compliance market. Connect with Matt.