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CommodityQuant
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Posts: 218
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 6:16 am

Protocol question

January 30th, 2009, 6:01 am

I was working with a headhunter regarding a quant contract position that I really like. I was told something like "I'm confident that we can get you an interview." That was about 2 to 3 weeks ago. I've sent emails to the headhunter since then and I've been ignored, with absolutely no information about any interview.My experience is that the quant-hiring business has been very fast-moving (although maybe these days are different) and that good news comes very quickly. So I feel a bit discontented about what's happened so far although I get over these things quickly.My question is: The idea of contacting the organisation directly has occurred to me. What do you think about this? I'm a bit mystified because the headhunter seemed very keen to work with me, and went to the extent of asking me to draft an email saying that his company represents me regarding the position.I'm confident that I could contact directly the people in the organisation that are involved in hiring. It seems like a breach in protocol, and am wondering whether this is a bad idea. My guess is that they would say "You need to contact your recruiter." But is there any possibility that the direct approach could lead to an interview now that the headhunter seems to be ignoring me.
 
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phil451
Posts: 83
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 8:21 am

Protocol question

January 30th, 2009, 12:45 pm

This is pretty typical of head hunters. They only call or respond when they have good news (ie) an interview or a job offer.They always say things like "... i've got a really good relationship with the hiring manager.."."... you're the only candidate applying for the role through this agency..""..i'm confident i will get you an interview"They never say anything negative or give bad news because it is not in their interest or a good use of their time. This is especially true in the contracting market.If you haven't heard anything it's because the bank has not taken the application forward. This could be because your CV is not a good fit for the role, or they've lost the budget. Either way you need to keep applying because there are jobs out there. You just have to keep at it.Good LuckIf you really want to know what happened i would phone the agent! That's what i've done in the past
 
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CommodityQuant
Topic Author
Posts: 218
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 6:16 am

Protocol question

January 30th, 2009, 3:33 pm

Very interesting to hear that "... you're the only candidate applying for the role through this agency.." is a headhunter cliche. I once met with the headhunter after an interview. She asked me what the questions were. So I said that I wouldn't tell her because it would jeopardise my chances if others knew the questions. She said that that wasn't an issue as I was the only candidate being put forward by the agency. I believed her (she sounded extremely convincing) and promptly repeated every single question.In retrospect, she was almost certainly lying. One factor is that she stayed at her desk till about 8 or 9 in the evening to meet with me and hear what the questions were. What was her incentive if I was the only one being represented?
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Protocol question

January 30th, 2009, 4:53 pm

QuoteI'm confident that I could contact directly the people in the organisation that are involved in hiring. It seems like a breach in protocol, and am wondering whether this is a bad idea.I think it's a good idea. If it is a big organization, there is a good chance that your contacts may be better than the HH. Quote My guess is that they would say "You need to contact your recruiter."My guess is that when you tell them the name of your recruiter, they reply with "who?"
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Protocol question

January 30th, 2009, 5:44 pm

I'd offer to send your Cv in myself, but as I show below, that may make things worse.I will not counsel anyone not to be cynical about headhunters because as everyone knows we are a drunk gang of subhuman crooks, but given that we are driven by greed (and fanatical devotion to the Pope), if the HH does not get in contact, odds are you weren't going to get the job.Also be aware that getting sign off is harder and longer than it used to be.However I am a little concerned about the email saying that you want them to represent you. Of course a good HH makes sure the candidate wants to be represented to that firm before sending in their details.We don't normally ask for it in writing, except in one particular case...Sometimes there is an argument over who is actually representing a given candidate, and some firms take the view that the candidate gets to choose. This can happen quite reasonably when you have skills that are useful to two very different business units, or even in multiple countries.We take the view that if we send you into algotrading energy, that should not stop you going for a job in counterparty risk. it is in the nature of pimping that we are all over one area, and don't know anything about another.So, if they are asking you for an email saying you are "owned" by them, it implies that your details had already got there, or it is for a certain large bank whose HR department has an excellent personal relationship with a well known large recruiter.Your HH may be dealing with this bank, and not know about this, and be wondering why the paperwork went in and has not come out three weeks later.It may be that (purely by coincidence you understand) your details "just happened" to arrive from this firm, and to stop them taking over the placement, your HH got you to write the email.
 
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CommodityQuant
Topic Author
Posts: 218
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 6:16 am

Protocol question

January 31st, 2009, 4:17 am

Hmmm. This is a sad story which breaks my heart (and probably the Pope's heart too.) I'm not sure what I could have done to avoid the multiple-CV problem since I certainly never authorised two different recruiters to send my CV there.Having made a few phone calls yesterday (and got exactly nowhere in terms of finding anything out), the best thing would be to move on and forget about it. High-frequency trading jobs are advertised all over the place, an area which I haven't entered or studied. I have a Masters in Financial Maths from one of the top five or so UK universities plus other background in maths but no Ph.D My c++ is very strong. I have been employed as a quant until recently.From this skeleton of my background, how feasible would it be to learn something about high-frequency trading and then go for those positions? Or should I just wait for more traditional c++ quant opportunities to turn up that were so plentiful a few years ago.People have already advised that I should learn c sharp, and I will take that advice.By the way, yes, I have sent my CV to P & D.Thanks for your advice.
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Protocol question

January 31st, 2009, 4:29 pm

The C++ roles will be coming back, so there is a floor on your exposure.You should have got Guide 2.x which I have to be honest is a bit weak on advice for algorithmic trading.Various events have conspired to delay 3.0You should start learning signal processing, time series analysis and filtering.
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