Job Seekers Should Know the New Best Course of Action as the Job Market Heats Up

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With the job market on Wall Street heating up to pre-recession levels, Harris Allied offers insights on what candidates can expect when an employer extends an offer today.

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With the job market on Wall Street heating up to pre-recession levels, job seekers may find the rules of engagement dramatically different from recent years, say experts at Harris Allied, a recruiting firm specializing in the placement of technology professionals within the financial services sector.

“The job search process itself is not going to be all that different than from what it has been like in recent years. A solid resume and cover letter, social media, job boards, executive recruiters, networking… they are all viable tools available to today’s job seeker,” explained Kathy Harris, managing director at Harris Allied. “But what HAS changed is what they can expect to see from employers as companies need to compete more for talent now than they have had to do in the last three or four years. While this certainly bodes well for job seekers, understanding how to navigate the offers requires insight into what the Street is looking for now so that they can make the most of the exciting opportunities out there.”

Harris offers her insights on what candidates can expect when an employer extends an offer today:

  • Salaries are trending up for the first time since 2008. In fact in a recent salary survey of tech professionals conducted by, 49% report increased compensation in 2010/11 compared with 36% in 2009/10. We’re hoping the trend continues this year as improving earnings translate to bigger year-end bonuses industry-wide.
  • Enticements are in again. Employers are offering sign-on bonuses, paying for relocation packages, offering higher salaries and focusing more on their corporate culture when trying to attract new talent today.
  • Doors are opening more quickly. The rule of thumb used to be that for every $10,000 you earn, you will need a month for your job search. Now a top-level investment banking executive can reasonably expect to find a suitable position within six months.
  • We are seeing a real push to hire top talent between now and July. May and June are hot months for hiring because executives hired during this time cannot reasonably expect to have their full year’s bonus paid out if switching to a new company since we just exited bonus season.
  • Employers are expanding the skill-set requirements they are looking at and are generally more flexible in terms of what they are willing to accept. Among Wall Street employers looking for technology professionals, for example, they have typically hired from other Wall Street firms. Today, they are looking to Silicon Valley and the tech sector more generally for technology pros to fill the many vacant positions today.
  • Don’t be a paycheck player. Job seekers may find themselves entertaining multiple job offers at a time, something they have not seen in quite a while. Never play one employer against anther. Once you accept an offer, it’s bad form, and you can burn bridges by accepting a counter offer.

About Harris Allied

Harris Allied provides premier Executive Search, Technology and Quant Analyst placement services to the financial services and tech industries. The firm represents technology and quant professionals to clients who are at a variety of growth stages: from tech start-ups to established industry leaders including small buy-side firms and global investment banks. Harris Allied’s client-centric approach allows the firm to objectively assess the strengths of qualified candidates and thoughtfully match them with the right opportunities. For more information visit


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Nina Dietrich
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