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When Hiring Quants and Analysts, Leave the Resume For Last

November 4th, 2019

Alternative asset managers are judged on their performance. So why don't they do the same when it comes to judging job candidates?

That's the advice Sham Mustafa, co-founder of quantitative assessment specialist Correlation One, gave to a London quant conference last week. "Don’t look at the resume, look at the performance,” eFinancialCareers quoted him as telling his audience.

That might seem like a no-brainer, but Mustafa told the attendees that looking first at a resume introduces bias into the selection process, starting with where the applicant went to school.

“Great talent isn’t just sitting at the top universities around the world, it’s globally distributed,” said Mustafa. “You need a broad funnel and then a precise filtering mechanism to process the funnel.”

What's the alternative? One method is to do what XTX Markets did earlier this year and that was to have candidates develop stock market prediction models. Another method, managed by Mustafa's firm and used by Citadel Advisers, was to conduct "datathons."

Mustafa was promoting a candidate filtering system he claimed was "five times more reliable than GPA” in predicting performance, but the broader point he was making was aimed, not only at the hiring managers at the conference, but at job hunting quants and analysts from schools not on the top-tier recruiting circuit.

Notes the eFinancialCareers article, " nstead of inviting a human being to assess your suitability for a job with a quant fund, you could be better off entering an investment competition and letting your performance speak for itself." 

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