Working with Recruiters

Many firms in the financial industry use recruiting agencies to help them fill positions. Recruiters are third-party companies employed by the hiring firm to sort through the hundreds of applicants to find those that will be just the right fit for the hiring firm. Because recruiting agencies are independent of the hiring firm, they can be more objective in the hiring process.

Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your experience with a recruiting agency:

Do Your Homework. Do some research on the leading recruiters for the industry in which you are looking to be hired. There are agencies that are more well-known and/or respected than others; those are the ones with which you might want to align yourself. We see that major hedge fund recruiters are most commonly located in the Northeast U.S. (New York), California, Chicago, Atlanta and Florida. Job Search Digest members get access to a database of hedge fund recruiters

Match Your Expertise. Make sure that your recruiting agency works with the types of firms in which you are interested. Recruiters can work specifically with one or more of the following: private money firms, private equity firms, mutual funds, hedge funds, blue-chip companies, boutique firms in the U.S., or in other countries like England. Because there are only a few “hubs” of hedge fund and private equity recruiting agencies in the U.S., be prepared to relocate if you really want a job in this industry.

Align Your Interests. Find out how the recruiter is paid. Most recruiters are paid by the company for which they are recruiting, and not by the candidates themselves. The fee ranges from 10-30% of the candidate’s first-year salary. (Recruiters that only charge 10%, however, often exhibit poor communication, infrequent contact, and tend to churn applicants.)  Recruiters can be paid on either a retainer or a contingency basis. A retainer is a fixed engagement fee of which a percentage is paid to the firm to source and hire the candidate. Contingency refers to the recruiter not being paid unless the candidate is placed.  The contingency fee tends to be 20-30% of the candidate’s first-year salary.

Get More From Your Recruiter. Find out what other services, if any, are offered by the recruiter. Some recruiting agencies can also provide you with marketplace statistics, compensation data, hiring trends and information on growth areas. This information can help you position yourself more successfully.

About the Author:

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC, is a Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach with nearly two decades experience working with professionals in finance, management consulting, legal, and technology.

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