What Does Hiring Look Like Now?

What Does Hiring Look Like Now?

As we begin the 4th quarter of 2009, some candidates are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Although this light is coming later in the year than we expected and it is still not shining extremely bright, there are positive signs that hiring is once again getting ready to pick up.

It has been a long 2009 for many professionals and this little glimpse of light excites many who have been searching for new opportunities.  The equities market has had a strong 3rd quarter, this rally has allowed many funds to be up year to date in regards to performance and in many cases these firms are now above their High Water marks and can once again start to receive performance fees.  Additionally although it is not near what would be considered normal, there are examples of fund’s raising assets and money which has been on the sidelines is finding its way back into the market.

Although this money comes with new rules, it has allowed firms to start actively discussing the idea of hiring additional professionals and strengthening their team.  For most of the past year employed professionals have worked extremely hard in order to maintain the status quo and try to survive this non liquid/non leveraged environment.   Many employees are tired and are ready for some additional help/relief in the form of additional team members.

Furthermore as we have discussed in the past the numerous press releases which have originated in the alternative investment space over the past year have caused the rules to change, one of the biggest changes is that institutional investors want to see a more effective, efficient and transparent infrastructure in place with their investment partners.  We are starting to see more and more infrastructure related roles be recruited for and advertised by both Private Equity fund and Hedge Funds.  Roles such as Controller, CFO and COO are becoming bi-weekly occurrences.  These infrastructure roles are the first to be recruiter for because they are now a prerequisite for investors and are the roles that many firms have neglected in the past.

An interesting characteristic about the recent opportunities we have seen is that many are located outside of the main financial centers or abroad.  We believe this is due to a lower hiring cost in many cases for firms outside of the main financial centers and new or at least a growing candidate pool which is open to working in these smaller less focused financial centers.  In regards to opportunities abroad, we have noticed an increase in opportunities that are directly involved with the business of offshore funds and investment strategies focused in the emerging markets or less developed countries.

It is my belief that as long as the markets do not take another nose dive that we will begin to see more analytical roles start to emerge in late October and early November.   Historically this is the beginning of the slowest hiring times in the alternative space but with so many individuals out of work and many strong candidates presently looking for a new role I believe that firms will need to and can start the hiring process earlier, not having to wait until yearend bonuses have been paid.

If hiring firms are not careful they risk becoming involved in bidding wars for top talent, these bidding wars will only raise the hiring firm’s cost.  These firms are better off hiring now and gaining the loyalty of their new employees before having to overpay for talent.  As candidates begin the interview process it is essential that they perform their own due diligence in the firms that they are interviewing with.  After such a tough year it is important to ensure that your perspective employer has the financial strength and security to grow and if necessary cover your cost for a few months to half a year.
Hiring is still slow and the interviewing process is taking much longer but at least there is activity; as a candidate looking for employment it is important for you to be as proactive a candidate as possible. Work with your prospective employer not against them and be ready for many challenges not seen before to be put in front of you.  In many cases you will need to show your worth before being offered the role.

References are playing a very big role in this new hiring environment and I strongly suggest you identify quality references which hopefully have a connection with your potential employer.  Remember many professionals have been displaced so it is important to make sure you know how to reach your references.  Not being able to reach a reference after providing that reference to an employer does not place your candidacy in a positive light.
In conclusion the good news is during the past few weeks we have started to hear from numerous hiring firms that they want to start hiring soon.  The bad news is they are waiting for a catalyst; none seem to know for sure what the catalyst is but feel they will know it when they see it.  Let’s hope the catalyst come soon.  In the meantime it is important to stay upbeat and well informed regarding the marketplace and industry.

© 2008 NyamiNyami Holdings, LLC