The War for Quantitative Risk Talent - Key Takeaways

July 2016 Recruiting Commentary

Financial services firms are fighting tooth and nail for qualified individuals who can help them meet to their growing requirements for quantitative analytics.

The demand for quantitative risk and compliance candidates in the financial services sector has drastically increased over the past few years. The need for talent has been driven by a variety of industry factors - regulatory requirements around stress tests for banks, increasingly complex financial markets, exponential growth of "big data", front-to-back office automation, to name a very few. As a result, companies are fighting tooth and nail for qualified individuals who can help them meet their growing quantitative analytics requirements. As a niche recruitment firm focused entirely on risk, audit, and compliance, MBK is on the frontline of in these talent wars alongside our clients. Here is what we have learned:

  1. It is a seller’s market. Hiring the best quants is a battle - drawn out negotiations, jaw-dropping salary increases, and bidding wars are the norm in this space;
  2. Be ready to sponsor. Many quants are foreign citizens and require H1B or green card sponsorship. Get human resources, legal, and hiring managers all onboard so that these things do not detract from an offer. Employers who want to be competitive are prepared to meet these requirements, those who are not often have a tough road;
  3. Knowledgeable partners are invaluable. These jobs are highly technical and require a specific skill set/knowledge base, and therefore hard to fill. Hiring managers often think they have a deeper understanding of the talent market than they actually do and are not as successful as they could be. Finding a recruiting partner (either internal or external) who not only understands the job requirements, but knows the market, and has access to a deep pool of talent will determine the success of these searches;
  4. Location matters…but not as much as you’d think. We have found that as long as the key variables are there (e.g. money, title, responsibilities, etc) most clients are able to find candidates who are willing to relocate. However, flexibility in remote work arrangements or proximity to major centers certainly does help!
  5. The talent war extends beyond finance. The growing need for quantitative analytics spans industry and we are seeing more and more candidates with competition offers outside of financial services (e.g. technology startups, pharma, etc).

We would love to hear your battle stories from the quest to find quantitative risk talent…please feel free to share your insights in the comments section or on our social media channels. If you would like to learn more about MBK Search and how we can assist you in your search or in finding qualified quantitative candidates, please email us directly: info@mbksearch.com or visit our website mbksearch.com.

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