Hiring in a Competitive Market
The increasing competition for talent within Investment teams is widely reported on, however the same can also be said for non-investment verticals. In this article, we delve into the strategies hedge funds employ to streamline their hiring processes, with a specific focus on how the length of interviews impacts the likelihood of landing the preferred candidate.
We have pulled together data from 2023, looking at 30 interview processes for a range of hiring within non-investment (including Operations, Treasury, Finance, Compliance and Distribution). Our analysis categorized these interviews into two main groups: Single Managers and Multi-Strat Platforms. The below graphs serve as a point of reference between Multi-Strat’s and Single Managers on their differing hiring processes. Notably Multi-Strats have more interview rounds and interview a higher number of candidates.
When we look at the relationship between the length of an interview process and a firms preferred candidate being hired; what emerges from our findings is perhaps an unsurprising trend – the longer the interview process, the less likely it is that a hedge fund secures its preferred candidate. Multiple factors contribute to this, but the most common reason, as per our experience, is the candidate’s acceptance of another job offer or simply losing faith in the process.
We discovered that the optimal timeframe, which results in the highest success rates, falls within the range of 3-5 weeks. Notably, nearly 40% of Single Managers completed their hiring processes within this period, achieving an 85% success rate. In contrast, only 28% of Multi-Strats concluded their interviews within this timeframe, yet we saw the highest success rate (at 88%). Multi-Strats consistently achieve a higher success rate, often attributed to their ability to provide more competitive salary packages and the allure of a prestigious brand name for candidates’ resumes.
Those Hedge Funds that have successfully streamlined their hiring processes share common strategies:
Efficient Interview Days: Many employ the practice of conducting multiple interviews in a single day. Typically, candidates undergo 5-6 interviews during one on-site visit.
Clear Assessment Criteria: Streamlining their assessment criteria by providing clear definitions of key competencies and qualifications for the role. This minimizes redundancy in assessments and ensures that the focus remains on evaluating skills, experience, and cultural fit.
Effective Communication from Hiring Manager / Talent Team: Ultimately a candidates experience of the interview process influences their impression of the company and their decision on whether to accept a job offer. Consequently, maintaining a high level of candidate engagement and minimizing time gaps between interviews and feedback is paramount. By providing clear guidance, and ensuring that candidates feel valued and informed throughout the process, companies can enhance the overall candidate experience and increase the likelihood of securing top talent.
In summary, the competitive terrain of hedge fund recruitment demands an agile strategy for acquiring top talent. Our analysis unequivocally illustrates that shorter, targeted interview processes, marked by robust candidate engagement, yield superior results in securing preferred candidates.
Will Fieldhouse | Director - Non-Investment Recruitment
Will heads up OCR’s Non-Investment team, who’s coverage includes Middle Office, Marketing, Risk and Compliance. He joined OCR after graduating from the University of Nottingham.
Matt Thomas | Senior Associate - Non-Investment Recruitment
Matt is a Senior Associate, taking responsibility for all Junior and Graduate level hiring within this area. He has been with the team at OCR Alpha for over 3 years and is a graduate of Loughborough University.