It’s nearly Christmas. The Eurozone is in a state of protracted disarray. France may be downgraded. Kim Jong-il is dead. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s share price is dying. No one really knows what’s going to happen next year. But a few candidates are still getting multiple offers.
We asked seven recruiters or headhunters, some of whom wanted to be named and some of whom didn’t, where they’re coming across candidates who are heavily bid. This is what they told us:
“At the most senior levels in compliance, people are wary about moving,” says Paul Geist, senior consultant at recruitment firm PSD Group. “It’s a question of better the devil you know. For that reason, the most senior people are in short supply and often have offers from more than one bank.”
Two equities headhunters highlighted salespeople as the recipients of multiple offers – even if they’re out of the market. “I’ve come across a few people with two or three offers,” says one. “The skillset of an equity salesperson is relatively generic and if they’re out of the market, it seems easier for them to get a number of bids than it is for equity researchers.”
Yet, multiple offers are far from the norm: “Really, this applies to the best few salespeople who’ve been let go from Unicredit,” the headhunter adds after a moment’s contemplation.
Oliver Rolfe, managing partner of Spartan Partnership, agrees that equities salespeople with moveable clients seem to be finding it easier to get new offers than researchers. However, he cautions that multiple offers are not always a good thing: “In this market, people with multiple job offers have often been made redundant and are talking to houses they may have avoided in better times. Because of this, they're sometimes not keen on any of them,” he points out.
Peter Harwood, a partner at Engage Search, and Christian Robbins, managing director of search firm Nicholas Scott, both cite senior FX traders as especially sought after.
“It’s very unusual, but if you’re senior and you have a good reputation, it’s still possible to get more than job offer,” says Harwood. “I came across someone with three offers recently.”
Robbins says they encountered a senior FX trader with multiple offers just yesterday: “He had recently been made redundant and was out of the market. There’s still a requirement to hire people in FX – it’s one of the few areas that’s unaffected by regulatory change.”
We recently considered the claim that high frequency trading firms are still hiring and concluded that they are, but only from among their own kind.
If you fit the high frequency trading/algorithmic mould, you will be wooed by numerous suitors. Hugo Sugden, a director at GQR (Global Quant Recruitment) says people with a strong track record in the “quant trading space,” are very heavily sought after.
“We had one four person quant trading team with a pre-existing track record whose CVs we sent to 12 firms,” Sugden says. “They got 9 offers, one of which they accepted last week.”
Despite the poor treatment meted out to contractors who have their rates reduced, recruiters claim some of them are still able to pick their employer.
“We’re seeing people with multiple offers in regulatory reporting,” says Damien Tatlow at Badenoch & Clark. “There’s also demand for good technical accountants who can help prepare the year end accounts.”