Prospects looking for a job in hedge funds need flexibility and a laser-like focus on creating value, according to Robert Olman, president of Alpha Search Advisory Partners. Olman, who has been in the executive search business for 26 years, including 10 exclusively serving the hedge fund market, was interviewed recently by hedgefund.net
A small number of firms are hiring but are being extremely careful, often hiring one person to do the work previously done by two. Successful candidates need to separate themselves from the pack by offering a very narrowly crafted package of how they can solve a problem for the firm, or provide value in a very targeted area.
And if you make it to the interview process, you’ll have to be more patient and flexible, too, because the hedge fund job hiring process is taking 2-3 times longer these days. Aside from solving a specific problem, candidates must show they’re the right fit with the culture of the firm. Gone are the days of when firms were making money so fast they could ignore interpersonal conflicts, Olman says.
His final advice? Focus on areas that are growing, such as distressed debt, special situations, global macro and equity long-short. Stay away from convertible bond arbitrage, capital structure arbitrage, statistical arbitrage and PIPES (Private investments in public entities).