2017 Q3 Summary
We are seeing a normal, late-year hiring slowdown, as firms try to bring the ship in on budget. There remain pockets of hiring and some very good opportunities. One bank has frozen most hiring across IT, yet we have a strong mandate to fill roles in another division before the end of 2017. So, if you’re looking at this time of year, there are still plenty of things to talk about. Note too, that the process can take a long time. If you are thinking about making a move in 2018, now is a good time to start.
NYC Salary History Law
New York City has passed a law prohibiting employers from requesting a candidate’s salary history. The law goes into effect at the end of this month. There’s a lot of information embedded in a person’s compensation history, so I think this law is going to make my job harder. The law is going to significantly change the dynamics of the offer process. A key point is, “employers may use salary information that is volunteered by applicants.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
What happened to HFT?
I take the articles on eFinancialCareers.com with a grain of salt. However, this article (a year old) provides a good overview of the HFT industry players. Re that grain of salt – “Reports suggest that ‘math nerds’ in the U.S. start on $550k at Two Sigma, however.” Er, no, they don’t. Did some quant get that kind of package to start? Sure, probably. Is that the going price for “math nerds”? Please.
Speaking of low-latency
This may be anecdotal, but a recent client of ours mentioned that he saw a 40% increase in solicitations when added low-latency to his LinkedIn profile. To be sure, low-latency development skills (C++/Java) are in demand, and positions requiring those skills pay a premium.
Increase in Python
We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for Python developers this year driven by data processing, unstructured data processing, data analytics, and natural language processing. Libraries pandas, numpy, and sklearn to a lesser extent are in demand.
The F*g Internet
What next? Fake interviews soliciting payments from unsuspecting candidates.
I find it surprising that many candidates I talk to don’t realize how detrimental job movement can be to one’s candidacy. Sure, there are good reasons for changing jobs, but there are very few circumstances where a series of 2 and 3-year job stints isn’t a bad sign. Many of my more exclusive clients won’t even consider candidates who have a history of short job stints. I presented a good candidate to one hedge fund last year, but the hiring manager wouldn’t consider him no matter what back-story I presented. They wanted to see candidates w/ a good career arc, and argued that job stability shows grit.
So what do you do if you don’t have the perfect resume (graduated from MIT in 2011, spent the next 6 years at first company showing advancement, now looking for your first change)? Be well prepared to talk about the arc of your career and work w/ someone who can represent you appropriately to clients.
Hedge Fund Recovery?
There were fewer hedge fund closures the first half of 2017 compared to 2016 and overall assets are up. The average return for the first half of the year was 5.4% compared to almost the same figure for all last year. This bodes well for hiring. However, according to Bloomberg Gadfly, this performance badly trails the indices. If you listen to this episode of Freakonomics Radio, you’ll be hard pressed to put your money anywhere but an index fund.
Please follow AffinityFin to be apprised of new opportunities. Of course, the best way to learn about available opportunities is to email or call me directly.
We have somewhat of a different mix currently as we respond to the late-year hiring slowdown.
- Java Developer (NYC or NJ) - algorithmic Java developer to be early employee of a promising startup
- C#/.Net Developer – Leading alternative investments firm
- Machine Learning/NLP quant - C++/Python – leading asset management company
- Post Trade Strat – C#/.Net developer for a top hedge fund focused on post-trade automation
- Low Latency Java Developer – Exciting algo trading fund
- Technology Evangelist – “explore and evaluate new technologies for our evolving needs” (great role for a true technologist)
- Elite C++/Python developers to help develop a new trading platform
- Expert C++ developers to help build multi-strategy trading infrastructure
- Lead Business Analyst to run a data team in risk management
- SPG Desk Quant – Leading investment bank
- Scala developer – Contract, wealth management
- Java developer – Contract, wealth management
End of Year Outlook
- The market remains good. We continue to see new opportunities on a regular basis. Contact me and let me know what I should be on the lookout for to help you advance your career.