Why Wall Street is Looking for Techies, Not Bankers

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Posted by Matt Rivera

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December 9, 2014

IT Staffing AgenciesThe financial services industry is thriving. Baby boomers have flooded the market seeking advice, services, and solutions to secure their retirement. But the Wall Street of today bears little resemblance to what retirees knew at the start of their careers.

The masses of Wall Street traders shouting out stock orders have ceded power and influence to computer systems that execute the biggest trades with remarkable speed. High-frequency trading is the norm on Wall Street today, and 80 percent of trade markets, including most investment banks, are run by computers. The old adage that time is money now has a dollar value attached -- milliseconds can be worth millions of dollars.

But it’s not just trading where financial services firms can gain or lose in a fraction of a second. IT infrastructure and security have also grown in importance as the backbones of brokerage firms.

Financial services’ accelerating shift toward technology means the strategy at the heart of rising portfolios will ultimately be sourcing, recruiting, and hiring a new type of talent. The firms that can find highly skilled developers, analysts, and data scientists will be better able to stay a blink of an eye ahead of the rest of Wall Street.

The Programmers of Wall Street

Financial services firms have discovered a new edge: Developing algorithms that enhance high-frequency trading and drawing on big data analytics that keep them better informed. The sophisticated systems and analytics that constantly buy and sell throughout the trading day continue to grow in complexity. Financial services firms building and refining these systems are busy recruiting the brightest graduates from Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon.

Network designers are just as crucial, building fast, efficient, and scalable network infrastructures to maintain lucrative uptime. The need for security and encryption experts is also growing in importance as reports of hackers stealing data from businesses, governments, and individuals hit the headlines almost daily. This fear permeates the financial services industry, and firms are responding by adding cyber security experts that specialize in shoring up mobile devices, data, and networks.

Why Tech Will Stay on Wall Street

Financial services firms are scrambling to stay ahead of the rest of the industry and secure their databases and software. But their ability to accomplish both goals hinges on their recruiting and hiring. That means developing talent pipelines for the technical expertise they need today and in the future, or finding a partner with deep connections in the industry that can surface and engage these increasingly hard-to-find candidates. Expect more financial services firms to turn to RPO to stay a step ahead of the technological curve in 2015.

As baby boomers manage their retirement and millennials start investing in theirs, expect technology to play a growing role in financial services. These tech jobs, from big data analysts to security experts, will continue to shape how stocks are bought and sold, and the firms most adept at hiring could get a jump on the rest of the Street.

This blog was written by Matt Rivera. Matt serves as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Yoh’s marketing and brand communications. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations and has been working in the staffing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this role, Matt held many different roles from branch recruiting and proposal writing to technology management and online marketing.


Topics: IT Staffing

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