Recruiting Career Progression: From General Technical Recruiter to FinTech Engineering Specialist

Zmick 2017 FinTech BLOG header

From General Technical Recruiter to FinTech Engineering Specialist

I’d like to start by saying I am not one for spewing my personal opinion on how to do one’s job/profession the “right” way, but I wanted to reflect on my career progression from a general technical recruiter to a FinTech engineering specialist.

For most of my recruiting career, I have focused on recruiting for job roles that required varying degrees of technical experience. Nowadays, nearly every professional career requires some sort of technical aptitude. Thus, it was easy to consider an office administrative role, business analyst, project coordinator, or receptionist as a “technical” recruiting opening.

All that changed over the last 16 months.

I joined Objective Paradigm’s FinTech recruitment team in February 2016. At the onset, the team demonstrated expertise and skill, finding top-tier academic profiles. To engineer and support some of today’s most cutting-edge proprietary trading systems and software, our candidates must show impeccable accomplishments and express career goals.

Before Objective Paradigm, I successfully placed candidates by merely matching their most recent professional experience (or resume) with our client’s technical need or requirement – it was as simple as that. In that space, it was considered a plus if candidates had relevant educational background or prior work experience with a reputable company. Even better, were candidates who had been employed for longer durations during their prior work experiences; in other words, candidates that did not jump from job to job.

What’s Different?

In the FinTech engineering world, life is different. A candidate’s resume must be near perfect. Think back to your early college years when you contemplated what you wanted to do for the next 35+ years of your professional life. I suspect the majority of you reading this considered a career different from
the career you have today.

Nearly all of the candidates we target on a daily basis come from top-tier computer science (or related) programs and have GPA’s of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. Entry level graduates ought to have an exciting internship from a reputable firm and in a position related to their career goals and objectives.

My only internships were at Panera Bread (making sandwiches) and Sears Automotive (selling tires & oil changes), technically. Moving on.

Where I find success.

The client firms I have the privilege of working with and supporting through OP’s FinTech team, are not only hesitant to interview border-line candidates, but the interview process nearly always begins with timed coding challenges involving algorithms and data sets/structures.

We regularly see perfectly engineered candidates get rejected before making human contact with a “dream job” firm. That’s the nature of the FinTech industry. Fintech firms hire the very best candidates available.

All that being said, I love the challenge and niche arena of recruiting FinTech talent. We fail over-and-over again, and that is why we succeed (Michael Jordan coined a similar quote years ago).

Michael Jordan Quote_Why I Succeed

The feeling of connecting a world-class engineer with a world-class firm can be electrifying and gratifying beyond the high-volume “technical placements” I was accustomed to before joining OP.

Please reach out if you have questions about opportunities in the FinTech industry or joining our team at OP.

JZmick_OP_Recruiting and Account Management LeadJordan Zmick is an IT Recruiter and Account Manager at Objective Paradigm in Chicago, IL. His focus is centered in the Capital and Financial Market space where Jordan builds and maintains relationships with qualified, educated, and motivated candidates. He understands our clients’ needs and opportunities, coordinating candidate interviews, and becoming a reliable resource for quality profiles. Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn.

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