While some financial technology companies only hire candidates with a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in mathematics, statistics, computer science or engineering – or are only looking for master coders who are proficient in a particular programming language – other fintech firms hire interns, graduates and early-career-stage professionals without a doctorate and train them internally.
What does it take to get your foot in the door? The following are all U.S.-headquartered fintech firms who are currently adding headcount. Here’s who they’re looking to hire.
Redtail Technology was founded by Brian McLaughlin, the firm’s CEO and CTO. Best known for the Redtail CRM platform for financial advisers and other wealth management professionals, Redtail’s headquarters is in Sacramento, where 70% of its employees are based, and also has offices in Phoenix and Atlanta.
The firm is hiring in all three locations – it has a goal of adding 50 people to fill out its new Sacramento office and 10-to-15 people in Phoenix over the next 18 months. It has established recruitment pipelines with local colleges, universities and technical schools, as well as staffing agencies. Employees can move between any of the three locations, and they can even transfer to a different department within the firm if they want to take on a new challenge.
Almost half of the staff is currently made up of product support and customer service, while about 15% are in sales and training and 10% are software developers.
“A lot of the support people we get have technical backgrounds, and some have an IT certification,” McLaughlin said. “We eventually try to fit the best of them into our software development somewhere.
“We can teach you the coding internally, send you to boot camp or school – we’re looking for candidates with the passion and the raw talent to do the work, who have good communication skills and who work well with employees and customers,” he said. “We look for candidates who have flexibility as we work in an ever changing technical environment, a growth mindset and are excited to learn about our products and continue growing within the company.
“Top candidates are friendly, reliable and responsive – if we can’t find them internally, then we go externally.”
Headquartered in South Portland, Maine, where approximately 800 of its 2,700 global employees are based, WEX Inc. processes payments and provides information management services to the commercial and government vehicle fleet industry.
WEX also has offices in Nashville; Ogden, Utah; Fargo, North Dakota; and Minneapolis in the U.S. It also has a presence in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, the U.K., Italy, France, Germany, Norway and Singapore.
For its internship program, WEX got 1,300 applicants for 31 positions.
WEX is also hiring experienced information technology and operations candidates, including back-office and mobile specialists, at most of the above locations. For example, it is looking to add data experts to help migrate its IT infrastructure from data centers to the cloud, particularly candidates with Amazon Web Services (AWS) experience.
WEX is hiring junior, mid-level and senior developers. The firm is a Java shop, so 90% of the openings require knowledge of that programming language, with the rest being programmers with experience in Microsoft’s .NET Framework and Windows operating system.
“We’r looking for intelligent people with good generic Java experience – payments experience is useful but not a must-have,” said David Cooper, the CTO of WEX. “Payment processing itself can be learned, but we want to hire someone who can demonstrate that they can get the job done in a fast moving environment.”
Cooper said he looks to hire specialists more so than generalists, as it is hard enough mastering even one programming language.
“It is very rare to find full-stack developers, because so much detailed work is required at all of those levels, so it’s more valuable being an expert in one or two than being entirely generalist as a full-stack developer,” Cooper said. “When I started it was a lot more important to know low-level details about how computers work, but that’s not the case anymore.
“What’s important is learning a language that is widely used – put more of an emphasis on more wide-ranging languages, design patterns and things that can be used in different verticals, at least in the early stages of your career,” he said.
“There are a lot of tech career paths around the user interface side – a huge number of acronyms and tools around UI – so decide if you want to be more focused on user experience or more of the processing and computing on the back end for handling transactions.”
Last month, Riskalyze, which provides risk management and compliance software-as-a-service (SaaS) to financial advisers, broker-dealers, asset managers, custodians and clearing firms, expanded into a second building in Auburn, California, where it is headquartered, about a two-hour drive northeast of San Francisco.
The firm has been hiring aggressively for its product, engineering, support and coaching teams. It is also adding sales, finance, administrative, customer success, marketing, operations and HR professionals. Riskalyze’s plan is to have about 165 employees between both of its offices in Auburn by the end of the year.
In addition, the company is expanding into the Bank of America Plaza building Atlanta, where it currently has 50 people but will eventually house 120 employees.
“We have a pretty aggressive headcount growth plan centered on product and engineering professionals,” said Brian Gelfuso, the director of recruiting at Riskalyze. “I joined at the beginning of the year when we were 120 or 125 people – compare that to where we want to be at the end of 2017, around 220 employees.
“Engineering recruitment is a huge focus for us, and we’re looking for all levels of talent, folks who are passionate about development and are wanting to make a change in their career, more mid- and senior-level full-stack, back-end and front-end [computer] engineers,” he said.
Gelfuso has been looking to deepen his firm’s relationships with universities and coding schools to find interns and fill-tome graduate hires. He says he will hire developers with a knowledge of a range of programming languages and train them on the ones they use in-house if necessary.
“The main thing is hiring development professionals who are passionate about building amazing software,” Gelfuso said. “Having the right degree is important to us but more important is the person and their experience – if you are a strategic thinker and can make awesome software that delights, then you’re for us.
“We approach development methodologies in a different way, so if you have religious feelings about programming languages, then we’re probably not the company for you,” he said. “We want people comfortable working with different technologies – we’ve hired some fantastic engineers who came from a totally different language background and exposure.
“It’s always a plus to have worked in wealth management software development, but we can train them on it.”
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