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Five Hiring Strategies Funds Should Use to Lure Quant Talent

Posted on September 2020

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Quantitative analysts (or quants) have quickly become some of the most vital workers in the financial sector. Using a sound understanding of elaborate mathematical models, quant analysts are able to price securities using algorithms built to minimize risks and maximize profits on investments. These algorithms, built using Big Data and pattern analysis, have transformed investment banking, making quant talent extremely important. 

Quant analysts require a trifecta of specialist skill sets to do their job: mathematics, technology and finance. Even entry-level quant analysts require a high level of degree to start a career building models for hedge funds, investment banks and asset management firms. 

Because of these requirements, quant talent can command very high salaries, and the competition to net exceptional quants is fierce. 

To also explore our Quant careers page, click here.

The Battle For Quant Talent

The rapid emergence of Industry 4.0 has led to a surge in demand for quant developers in various sectors. However, the shortage of qualified data scientists with expertise in computer programming and data analysis is a significant challenge. Companies must, therefore, take innovative measures to attract and retain the best quant developer jobs in the market.

Quant developers play a crucial role in designing algorithms that can automate investment processes and transform business operations. To tap into the benefits of automation, companies must prioritize hiring strategies that can attract and nurture exceptional quant talent. Investing in the right hiring strategies can help firms stay ahead of the competition and achieve their business goals.

Use these five hiring strategies to attract the best quant talent in the market.

Target Women

The overwhelming majority of quantitative analysts are men, and female talent is often overlooked when seeking quants. This is due to a mixture of unconscious bias and female quantitative analysts feeling discouraged from applying for roles. 

Recruitment pushes which target women and focus on diversity in their messaging will attract those candidates who feel less confident in applying for quant roles.  

Firms now run recruitment programs where candidates are asked not to submit resumes with information which may influence unconscious or implicit bias, but instead are asked to build financial prediction models based on existing data. Hiring in this ‘blind’ way which focuses purely on performance helps encourage a more diverse range of applications and will help you uncover those quant gems who bring huge value to your firm and investors. 

Seek Entry-Level Quant Talent

The best quantitative analysts are those who have the data and numbers to back them up - just like the job itself, achievements and the level of talent can be very clearly shown in performance data. However, because of the level of competition, there is also huge value in seeking those who are looking for their first opportunity as a quant analyst. 

Build a university campus recruitment and partnership strategy, aiming for those educational institutions which hold a good reputation for producing quant talent. This grassroots approach will help you engage talent right at the start of their careers and will keep your firm’s name in the head of dozens of promising graduates. 

Entry-level quant roles still command high salaries, but in offering a role where you can promise personal development, you will entice promising talent who can make an immediate impact. 

To also explore the future of quant talent, check here.

Call For A Wide Range of Talent

When it comes to hiring exceptional quant developers, it is crucial to adopt a draw-in strategy rather than relying solely on headhunting individuals from elite universities and top firms. While this traditional method can be effective, other hiring strategies can also be used to attract top talent to your company. By doing so, you can expand your pool of candidates and discover hidden gems in the field of quant development.

One innovative approach that larger funds are now using is to hold open events for quant developers to showcase their practical skills and be considered for job opportunities. By creating a platform for developers to demonstrate their abilities, you can identify individuals with the potential to excel in your company. Additionally, you can hold data analysis challenges and competitions with attractive prizes to draw in talent and encourage participation. This approach makes your quant developer jobs more accessible to individuals with the necessary skills, regardless of their academic background.

By adopting a draw-in strategy, you can broaden your talent pipeline and discover talented quants developers who may not have considered your company as a potential employer. This approach not only helps you attract exceptional talent, but it also provides a more diverse and inclusive hiring process. Ultimately, it allows you to identify the best candidates for your quant developer jobs and build a strong team of skilled professionals in the field of quant development.

Build Talent Pipelines

The quant analysis skills shortage isn’t going to become a surplus any time soon, so it is vital to build a hiring strategy which keeps brilliant quant talent close to hand for when you need it. Building a talent pipeline within your company means taking advantage of the passive talent pool.

Say you advertise for a quantitative analyst role and you have fifty applicants, and twelve of those applicants made it through to the next stage of interviews. Though you only have one role, you have now identified eleven candidates who you believe would be a good fit for the role you have advertised. Instead of discarding those resumes, instead, feed them into your talent pipeline. Unsuccessful candidates may become vital talent acquisitions in the near future. 

Though building a talent pipeline takes some initial investment and time, it will soon become one of the best quant hiring tools at your disposal. This is a long-term approach, also used by recruiters, to build an existing pool of quant talent to feed from when roles become available. This approach also leads to higher-quality hires, as you can approach those candidates who hold the strengths you need at that point in time. 

Advertise Roles As Tech Focused

The best way to attract tech-focused staff is to pitch yourself as a tech-focused company. Research the culture, perks and benefits which attracts brilliant quant talent. Quants are passionate about using data analysis and scientific approaches, and often need the environment to support that. 

Cultures inspired by those of Silicon Valley, with a focus on technology, flexible working, collaborative workspaces and heavy investment in emerging technologies will entice quants with intellectual curiosity and a passion to innovate. 

​Looking to hire?

Do you need support in finding your next quants hire? Contact the Selby Jennings team today or request a call back by filling out the form below.