Financial Firms – Do I Really Need A Recruiter?

Do I need a recruiter? Can't I find a new financial firm myself?

The topic may sound a little strange, but with the wake of what has been happening in our marketplace over the last couple of months, this is a question that is continuing to come up. Let me be more specific: employees of financial firms that have changed their public finance status in the marketplace have reached out to recruiters, after they began marketing themselves.

Employees, who are very well known in the industry, are most likely going to reach out to firms on their own since they know people in the industry. In some cases, some employees have decided to keep the teams together, if possible. In other cases, they have decided to help each other out, but not necessarily have to move as a team. So what could be the harm to “going at it alone”, without the use of a recruiter? Not much unless you really look deep into the psyche of the financial firms and the hiring managers. It comes down to this: what is your value worth when everyone knows that you are interviewing with multiple financial firms? Your value as an individual banker is somewhat diminished when you start picking up the phone and calling firms that you may have an interest to join. If you have already reached out to a vast amount of financial firms, your recruiter will try to present you in a different light, (what we actually get paid for) even though the firms are already aware that you have reached out to them. They have already made up their minds whether they are interested in you or not. They have not been able to hear the story behind the story; they just know what the market has said about you, whether good or bad. And I am not even talking about how your compensation package could be affected without the assistance of a comp expert. (i.e. your recruiter)

With the end of the year quickly approaching, rumors are starting to fly about “Reduction in Force” occurring, as it always does at this time of the year. I implore you to not be reactive but be proactive instead. If you feel there is a slight chance that your position may be affected, reach out to a recruiter now and not when the deluge of displaced employees will potentially hit the market. Your value is so much higher if you have not been reduced then it is when the Bond Buyer, or other publications, gets wind of the “Reduction in Force.” Also, even if a financial firm was not contemplating a reduction, when one does it tends to create a domino effect. So stay ahead of the curve and be proactive today. The worst that happens is you stay where you are, and you get to know a competent recruiter in your field of expertise.

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, FinOps & Bond Counsels. He can be reached at harlan@hfriedmansearch.com or 760-477-1284.

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