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Archive for July, 2014

Risk Recruiting Training – Risk for Recruiters 101

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Risk Recruiting Training Series

Risk for Recruiters 101

Recruiting Exceptional Risk Management Candidates

Last week we discussed the characteristics of an exceptional risk manager. Traits include quantitative, communicative, market savvy, and strategic. But, how would a corporate recruiter, who is accustomed to recruiting a broad range of professionals, source and recruit these exceptional risk managers?

There is no magic wand to source risk management candidates. However, a disciplined and structured approach is required, if you expect to generate candidates who will be appreciated by your hiring manager. Follow these five steps:

1)   Ask the hiring manager to verbalize the job description by walking you through it in detail – approximately 15-30 minutes. Don’t be too shy to have your hiring manager explain key terms. Feel free to contact me at Risk Talent to discuss the search. This is a free service that we provide.

2)   Draft a search plan and share it with the hiring manager. The key component to a search plan is to determine – where are the likely candidates working now? Make a list of 10-20 companies, minimum. The search plan should include the several steps to successfully complete the search. More on search plans in a later post.

3)   Execute the search plan by first posting the job on websites such as , Linkedin, and Indeed. However, if you stop here, you will likely fail. This is one step to the process but it isn’t enough.

4)   Go to LinkedIn and search for contacts at the search plan target companies, as per #2 above. Search on company name and risk, or company name and other key words from the job title or job description. Connect with these people so that you have access to their networks. Plan to source at least five candidates through this process. At Risk Talent, our goal is to source 20 qualified candidates for each role, but five is a good place to start. Keep working this step until you have sourced five quality candidates.

5)   Manage the flow that comes in from your job postings, but do this only at the beginning of each day, for a total of one hour per day maximum. Make it a habit not to look at replies to job postings after 10am each day. They can wait until tomorrow.

6)   Interview the candidates. More on interviewing risk management candidates in a later post.

7)   Manage the hiring manager interview process. More on that in a later post.


Get started. There are quality risk candidates out there.   If you post a job online and wait for candidate flow, you will be disappointed. Feel free to contact me for advice on risk recruiting at

PRM or FRM – Risk Certification Programs – Is it worth the effort?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Over the years I have often times been asked by candidates if a PRM or FRM certification is required, or even appreciated by employers. For those of you who have completed these certifications, you know that the process is time consuming and challenging. In 13 years, with over 200 risk and compliance searches completed, I have never once been asked by a client to only recruit an individual with a PRM or an FRM designation. We are typically asked to make sure that a candidate has an MBA, or for more quantitative roles, clients typically want a Master’s degree or a PhD. But, never have we been asked to only source candidates with one of these certifications. That said, at Risk Talent Associates, we have found that individuals who are certified with a PRM or an FRM make themselves better risk management professionals and candidates, and they are more likely to be hired for a new role. The breadth and depth of these certifications provide a candidate with knowledge that often times helps them to better navigate their way through the interview process, as risk executives ask broad reaching interview questions. So, my advice to emerging risk professionals – get the certification, it will make you a better risk manager and also prepare you for the interview process when looking for a new role in risk.

Four components of an Exceptional Risk Manager

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Clients and newcomers to the field of risk management have often asked, “What makes a great risk manager?” In the 13 years that I have led Risk Talent Associates, the leading executive recruiting firm in risk management, I have found that exceptional risk managers have all four of the following traits:
1) Quantitative Skills – While some people are more quantitative than others, top risk managers understand the nuances of financial risk management and the metrics that are important. Not everyone has a PhD, but the best risk managers understand the models and the results at the detail level.
2) Market Savvy – Top Risk Managers need to know the financial markets, or their specific industry, such as healthcare. They need to know the nuances of their market including the products traded in financial services, or the key metrics in healthcare. In both cases, financial and healthcare, the risk manager must have intimate knowledge of the regulatory environment.
3) Strategic – Exceptional Risk Managers look forward. Internal Auditors look backward. Particularly in Enterprise Risk Management, the best risk managers need to be thinking about the risks impacting their firm today, as well as expected risks in the future.
4) Communicative – Exceptional risk managers can communicate key concepts and risks to varied constituencies. Communication with clients, board members, executives, regulators and others all must be handled professionally and delicately so that the risk issues are clearly understood.

Let’s talk about risk recruiting.