13 October 2014
Over the past few months, the positive growth of the employment market has continued to stand true in the financial services industry. As a result of this growth, an increasing number of hedge funds will be more focused on hiring quality talent – a trend that is expected to continue into 2015. In fact, our financial services recruiting specialists are currently experiencing an increase in demand for candidates from their clients in the hedge fund space. According to Paul Herman, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services Division, one particular area that is receiving more attention revolves around trade support. “Many of our clients are building out their trade support departments, and to do this, are turning towards professionals from other financial institutions, specifically banks,” says Paul. “As a result, if you are a banking professional looking to make a career transition, now is an excellent time.” Take advantage of this hiring trend by learning about the skills in highest demand, the small steps that will help you stand out during interviews, and the career growth opportunities that can come with a hedge fund below. The skills in highest demand A trading assistant with experience working in the Middle Office at a bank is one type of professional whose background would translate well into working on the trading desk within a hedge fund. In addition, according to Paul, if you have skills within the following trade capacities, you have a solid foundation for making a smooth transition into a hedge fund: Trade booking Trade allocation Profit and loss (PNL) Reconciliations Trade Settlement What to emphasize during interviews If you want to make the transition from a bank to a hedge fund, you should not only be prepared to emphasize your technical expertise, but also the types of soft skills that will compliment your new career change and help set you apart from your competition. According to Paul, many of his hedge fund clients look out for the following personality traits when interviewing candidates: Confident Collaborative Strong communicator Quick learner Ability to thrive in fast-paced environments “While technical skills are definitely important, employers will be looking out for the skills that are not always apparent on a piece of paper, but will allow you to thrive in an area that is new to you,” says Paul. “For example, hedge funds tend to operate within smaller working teams, so your ability to show the hiring manager how you can cultivate strong working relationships with your colleagues and clients will be a strong indicator that you can transition well into your new role.” Look at the big picture If you are contemplating transitioning to a hedge fund from a bank, it’s important to consider the “big picture” by learning about some key differences between the two types of fields. For example, one common concern that banking professionals initially have when contemplating a transition revolves around compensation. “While banks traditionally offer candidates a good base salary, a lot of the earned income will come from the overtime hours worked,” says Paul. “On the other hand, hedge funds tend to offer slightly lower base salaries, but are highly bonus driven. As a result, don’t let a lower salary deter you from making a transition – a higher bonus will most likely make up for it.” If you’re interested in making a change, take advantage of this increase in hedge fund hiring now and set yourself up for great career growth.
13 October 2014
There’s a reason that “excellent time management skills” is such a common bullet point amongst many job listings these days. More and more, employers are looking for candidates who can do more in less time, and who can do so effectively. But there is only so much time in the workday, and as any employer who cares for their employees knows, work-life balance is important. So how do you bump up your productivity in the workplace without spending too much extra time at the office? Here are a few ways you can do so: Be wary of multitasking. It may seem counter-intuitive, but focusing on more than one task at once often results in being less thorough and accomplishing less in a given time. While there are definitely times when multitasking is helpful, if not necessary, it’s important to know when to hone in on one project at a time. Making this your rule and knowing when to allow for a few exceptions is often the best way to improve not only the quantity, but the quality, of your work. Organize tasks in order of difficulty and prioritize. This way, you can spread your projects out and plan the more difficult ones for when you have the most energy. If you’re a morning person, get your more tiresome activities out of the way as early as you can. If you don’t function well until your third cup of coffee, perhaps it’s best to save them for the afternoon. You know yourself better than anyone else—use that knowledge to put your energy to good use when it’s most available. Use a calendar and plan ahead of time. Offices commonly use Microsoft Outlook for scheduling meetings and projects, as the software allows you to flag follow-ups, invite others to your events, and organize priorities effectively. Another great option with the same tools is Google Calendar. Keeping a physical calendar or pocket planner can also be beneficial, but these mediums lack the feature that many often find to be a lifesaver in busy times: the automated reminder. Whichever you choose, start planning your day the night before, either at home or before you leave the office. Take note of what’s been done and what is still left to do so you can get to work as soon as you arrive. Plan breaks. Even plan tentative breaks. Everyone needs them, and even a quick pause to grab a cup of coffee or walk a lap around the office can reenergize you. Have a few minute-long breaks scheduled throughout your day and allow yourself a small number of unplanned ones for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Even if it’s just leaning back in your chair, closing your eyes, and taking a deep breath, taking this mini vacation can help you work faster once you return to the task at hand than if you were to power through it. Minimize distractions. It’s been proven that loose social media policies actually boost employee productivity, but if you find yourself easily distracted by Facebook or your phone, it may be time to power off. Tell yourself that you’ll reconnect when you take your next short break and close out any distracting tabs. If you think it might help, turn off your cell phone. Not only will you work faster, you’ll finish faster without the distractions, and can then reward yourself with one of your allotted breaks or a quick text. Sometimes, delayed gratification is the best motivator.