Financial institutions are under the pressure to compete, to perform, to understand market complexities, to innovate with their own services, and to comply with a host of regulations. The skills to be able to meet these needs are rare. In addition to top graduates and senior professionals in economics, business, and finance, financial firms also reach out to those with excellent mathematical skills and analytic abilities, such as physicists.
For instance, many organizations recruit quantitative analysts – also known as “quants” – who combine the skills of a statistical researcher, a computer scientist/programmer, and a financial professional. Various industries spend massive amounts of effort just trying to locate potential candidates with even just one of these skill sets; it is no surprise that it is especially difficult to find someone who is competent in all three. For this reason it is essential for financial firms to turn to skilled recruiters to locate, procure, and retain finance professionals. Let us look at three main characteristics of finance recruiters:
An industry recruiter must know trends within the market and find out how to locate candidates with the best overall match to the needs of the employer. They must also be able to assess strong candidates on the fly through verbal communication as they are the first level of screening and point of contact between a company and a potential recruit. The recruiter must also be prepared to answer a deep set of questions about the business model and policies of the client.
Strong Interpersonal Skills
An industry recruiter must be able to present an opportunity to a potential candidate in a way that is inviting and honest and without being overly coercive. A candidate may not respond well to a “hard sell” or may be on the fence about an opportunity but need feedback from the recruiter in order to make a better decision. The recruiter must also become amiable and cooperative with hiring managers and other decision makers. The ability to be comfortable at a lunch or happy hour while still maintaining casual professionalism is a definite plus.
Ability to Maintain Lasting Relationships
The recruiter is often not only in the business of procurement but also retention as well. The relationship with the candidates who accept offers, hiring managers, and all others with a stake in filling positions is usually on an ongoing basis. This Wall Street Journal post details the experience of one financial professional who was in search of employment and pleased with the continued communication, feedback, and helpfulness of certain recruiters he interacted with during the search.