Adventures in Hedge Fund Recruiting

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Recruiters working with hedge funds often have a difficult job. When big money's at stake, employers and employees can be a rather demanding lot.

One Los Angeles-based financial recruiter says hedge funds are notorious for having strong personalities at the helm. A visit to a well known player gave the recruiter a peek into the high pressure environment that some of the employees work under. One chief portfolio manager routinely threw computer monitors, and so much so that his staff kept a ready supply on hand for just that occasion.

Another New York-City based recruiter says that hedge fund principals can also be a very superstitious lot. "We had one candidate have the interview canceled right when they walked in simply because of a red bag," he says. The principal had a phobia about the color, thinking it stood for losing money.

The recruiter also says that candidates can also be just as peculiar. He advises prospective employees to watch their manners, as this one can be a real killer. One job hunter blew the final negotiations at lunch making quite a pig of themselves, ordering appetizer, entrée and dessert, he says. Then, the job prospect asked for a doggie bag of the employer's leftovers. Another job applicant flew off the handle when his parking wasn't validated. Both job offers were withdrawn by the employer.

However, the biggest frustration for hedge fund recruiters right now is the need for the employer to constantly bring in a cattle call of job applicants. An Orange County California-based recruiter says, "We're seeing firms conduct more interviews than ever for one position." She notes that employers are quite gun shy, and they're looking to turn over every rock to uncover the "perfect" candidate. Plus, they're also dilly-dallying in making a decision. The aggravating scenario can't last for long, she says. "The market's starting to take a turn, and if an employer doesn't act fast, they run the risk of losing the best candidate."

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