Wondering what it takes to recruit top quants in a world where competition for candidates is fierce and large companies are actively hiring with attractive offers? It can be incredibly hard for smaller companies like ours to attract the people that every company wants, but fortunately we have a commendable track record of attracting and retaining the best quants. The following outlines our recruitment process and gives you an insight into what to expect when you apply for a job as a Quantitative Management Consultant at Amsterdam Data Collective.
Once we’ve found the right candidate it’s show-time and the moment for initial contact to be made. You’ll never get a second chance to make a good first impression, which is very important in this competitive market. With a start-up like Amsterdam Data Collective, we have to stand out in a more creative way from the bigger, more established companies. We must proactively find candidates whose values and interests are aligned with Amsterdam Data Collective’s. Putting these similarities into a personal message to potential new hires gets results and keeps me on my toes.
50% of candidates respond to these messages, which always brings a smile to my face. Of course, I feel most satisfied if there is a positive response and the candidate wants to talk further. But I even feel positive when the candidate answers with a no, because that means that he or she is open to start a dialogue, which creates opportunities for future engagement. If a candidate doesn’t respond, it feels like a missed opportunity to learn more about what that candidate, who we believe would be a good fit with our team, finds important.
Round 1: Call
The main goal of the call is to find out if there’s a match from both sides. We talk about what’s keeping the candidate busy currently and what their ideal working environment would be. This is also the moment for us to make the candidate enthusiastic about Amsterdam Data Collective and the kind of work we do. I try to create an open conversation, where we can both be honest and discover if we are enthusiastic and interested in a next step; if so, the candidate will be invited to the interview.
Round 2: Interview
The interview will always be with one of the Amsterdam Data Collective consultants and myself. The most important thing is to create an informal setting where we can continue the journey to find out if there is a match. First, we introduce ourselves and explain everything about Amsterdam Data Collective. Afterwards, we attempt to find out about the candidate as a person, about their experience and if working at Amsterdam Data Collective would inspire them. After that, the consultant provides information about the kind of work we do and, of course, answers all questions.
The next step is to schedule a follow-up call to give each other feedback about this experience. Hopefully, both perspectives are positive, and we invite the candidate for the next round.
Round 3: The Amsterdam Data Collective Case
After the interview, and before the proposal, we send a preparation email with an introduction to the Amsterdam Data Collective Case, information about the topics and tips on how to prepare properly. We provide enough information about what to expect but give room for the candidate to showcase their personal style.
We’ve developed the Amsterdam Data Collective Case to introduce the candidate to the kind of work we do. For example, we might ask to develop a credit scoring or time-series model. A project will normally take three to six months, but during the case, the candidate will be asked to fit a project into half a day. That means that the candidate will present a plan of approach and demonstrate their programming and consulting skills. They will then be tested for their ability to explain the outcomes to someone who couldn’t conduct the analysis himself: me. During the case, the candidate will be guided by one of the consultants and the ‘client’, which is similar to how we work at Amsterdam Data Collective.
Next to the modelling case, we conduct a ‘classic’ consulting case, to test whether the candidate is able to structure his or her thinking in a way that leads to a feasible solution, even if he or she is unfamiliar with the topic. After finishing both cases, we will evaluate the outcome and give feedback. Again, we will schedule a call to give each other time to think about the experience.
Round 4: Contract
Before sending the unofficial contract, we discuss our offer by phone. That way, we can discuss whether our mutual expectations match. If so, the process is complete, and we will invite the candidate to our office again, to sign the contract. From that moment onwards, we consider the candidate to be an Amsterdam Data Collective consultant and will celebrate the end of the recruitment process and the start of our co-operation. Also, to ensure that the candidate gets familiar with our culture as quickly as possible, we take pre-boarding very seriously and start right away!
Ready to dedicate yourself to becoming an exceptional quantitative management consultant? Then we would like to hear from you. Join our team.