Asinine Desired Skills Job Postings

It always blows my mind and makes me wonder if I'm completely out of touch or if people are really just full of shit when I read a job posting for an "entry level" and it lists something akin to the following: Skills/Requirements:
Proficient in English, Spanish, and Portuguese;
Database, SQL, Hyperion, Visual Basic; other programming languages a plus
strong modeling skills; ability to build dynamic 3 statement financial models; strong understanding of accounting and economics;
Strong GPA >=3.5 a quantitative discipline; Math, engineering, economics, finance; MBA Preferred
Salary Range: $45-$55

WTF?!?! Can you get this for under $90,000??!! It's always some boutique/family office/small fund, with a LATAM focus out here in south Florida, but it blows my mind. Sometimes I want to submit a fake resume with equally absurd qualifications and then give my lawn guy or handy man's contact info.

Comments (34)

 
May 18, 2017 - 1:15pm

<span>C.R.E. Shervin</span>:

This just made me want to make a fake resume and send it out to listings similar to the one above.

It will read: Education Harvard, Work Experience: Janitor at school. Studied under Fields Medal Winner Professor Lambeau, Interests: Best friends with Ben Affleck.

Uhh.. I'ma let you finish, but it was definitely MIT and not Harvard.

EDIT: my bad. didn't see the guy above with the correction.

 
May 18, 2017 - 12:38pm

At the end of the day, a firm will get what it's willing to pay for when it comes to talent. I think firms posting these job listings are some combination of:
1. Out of touch with the market rate for strong junior level financial talent
2. Out of touch with the skills of most people willing to work for $45k-$50k will be able to offer
3. Trying to low ball people desperate to break into the industry
4. Starting the salary negotiations low, so even if they get negotiated up 50% by a qualified candidate, they still get a bargain paying $67.5k to $75k

To be fair, companies do have to be pretty exhaustive with listing qualifications on a job posting, especially smaller firms. If they truly need you to have a difficult to obtain skill, like fluency in a foreign language, they would much rather make that known upfront than hire you and realize you lack a key skill for the job.

If you want a good laugh, check out the following:
http://www.mckinsey.com/careers/search-jobs/jobs/associate-machine-lear…

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.
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May 18, 2017 - 12:58pm

I don't work in consulting, but I'm thinking that's probably high for someone coming in as an Associate? I'm way out of my depths here though.

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.
 
May 18, 2017 - 1:09pm

I was trying to map it out in my head: someone with 5+ years machine learning or mathematical modeling, CFA, masters/PhD in quantitative field, programming in multiple languages, knowledge of Basel III and Dodd-Frank stress testing, experience in financial services with equities, rates, credit, FX and commodities products, oh...and the consultant toolbox and willing to travel 50-75%.

So a qualified candidate would have an undergrad degree in CS, then a masters in statistics with a focus on modeling financial products, then went to IBM to work on Watson for 5+ years, then went to work at the NY FED because Watson doesn't produce meaningful revenue yet and Basel III modeling gets you chicks, and you get your CFA while working at the NY FED.

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.
 
May 19, 2017 - 12:01am

Regarding the McKinsey ad, I don't think it's the worst I've seen. There's the standard soup of Programming languages, libraries, and frameworks, but it sounds like they're mainly looking for someone with an Education in Machine Learning or AI, that has then worked in Finance/Quant jobs for a couple of years. Most people with a Masters or Ph.D in ML would hold the core skills, but they'd probably have to work in Finance for a couple of years to learn most else, unless they double majored in Economics / Finance / etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if even McKinsey has problems with finding the absolute best candidates for ML, as there are far more exciting places for that out there. In a typical CS / Engineering / STEM program which focuses on ML / AI, I don't think McKinsey is even on the top 20 list for candidates trying to find work.

Don't get me wrong, McKinsey is a fantastic name to have on your CV, but really not the first thing that comes to your mind in the field of ML.

 
Jun 19, 2017 - 6:39pm

Window View:

At the end of the day, a firm will get what it's willing to pay for when it comes to talent. I think firms posting these job listings are some combination of:
1. Out of touch with the market rate for strong junior level financial talent
2. Out of touch with the skills of most people willing to work for $45k-$50k will be able to offer
3. Trying to low ball people desperate to break into the industry
4. Starting the salary negotiations low, so even if they get negotiated up 50% by a qualified candidate, they still get a bargain paying $67.5k to $75k

To be fair, companies do have to be pretty exhaustive with listing qualifications on a job posting, especially smaller firms. If they truly need you to have a difficult to obtain skill, like fluency in a foreign language, they would much rather make that known upfront than hire you and realize you lack a key skill for the job.

If you want a good laugh, check out the following:
http://www.mckinsey.com/careers/search-jobs/jobs/a...

A human computer is what they want.

 
May 18, 2017 - 1:27pm

South Florida is the worst. The talent pool is lacking significantly, and the pay is terrible down there..... especially in Miami. Not sure how programmers aren't making more in this region, but i know people making 55-65k 3-5 years out of college still.

 
May 20, 2017 - 6:03pm

I am very strongly prejudiced against Miami companies. Too many games, too much bs, and of course, too little pay.

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May 18, 2017 - 4:35pm

I agree with OP, job postings are ridiculous for skills qualifications and light on the pay side. My disdain for HR/Recruiters/HH runs deep.

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
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May 18, 2017 - 11:52pm

Some reasons I can think of, on the top of my head:

  1. The company needs to fill a critical position ASAP, i.e Senior personnel leaving, and they need someone to step in on that day.

  2. Baiting for H-1B. Basically, they will put out some ridiculous requirements, fully knowing that very few will be qualified. Then they'll say "We failed to find any qualified domestic workers"

  3. Saturated market. They get hundreds to thousands of applicants, and can just pick and choose.

  4. Out of touch recruiters / HR. They just compile up a list of buzzwords after a meeting with the technical manager. This seems to be a very common reason IMO.

Either way, treat job listings as their WISH list. You are allowed to haggle, and as long as you can sell yourself, there's always a chance (unless it's point 2. from above list).

It's kinda like with people selling (overpriced) stuff on Craigslist...they hope to get $x for whatever they're selling, but will mostly receive offer ranging between 10% to 90% of asking price. Most people will settle with the better offers, even though they're still bellow the initial asking price.

 
Jun 7, 2017 - 11:15am

tackytech:
- Baiting for H-1B. Basically, they will put out some ridiculous requirements, fully knowing that very few will be qualified. Then they'll say "We failed to find any qualified domestic workers"

In general, I call BS on these companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, claiming they can't find qualified domestic workers. There are a ton of STEM-focused universities in the United States graduating hundreds of thousands of students each year. Is Facebook, Google, et al telling me that they can't fill their needs out of this pool of talent and need to hire some random engineers from Bangladesh? It's complete bullshit. My alma mater is now a top 25 engineering program and I don't recall Google ever recruiting on-campus for talent.

Heck, with Google and Apple's unbelievable stash of cash they could sponsor programs at U.S. universities to train for the exact skills they need. Or they could put out online courses that train in the exact skill sets they need. The reality is, these companies are looking for cheap labor.

Array

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Jun 6, 2017 - 9:33pm

It's always HR. I've seen poor HR hiring practices across the board in various companies (McK and my firm being two culprits).

"Oooooh, I see data science is so in demand right now, and sounds pretty cool. We don't do anything remotely related to data science, but it would be cool if we could do something. Let's put that as a job requirement.

Even better, let's pay them like 40k$.........Or, we could get Varun or Patel in Bangalore doing the same job for us at 20k$. Let's go for it."

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
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Jun 7, 2017 - 2:31pm

HR is by far the most useless group within a corporation and my contempt for them is similar to Ron Swanson's hatred for local government.

Just this week I know of someone who was offered $65K to work for a well-known, non-MBB firm located in California. Said individual turned it down and was copied in on an email sent to Directors and others by HR stating that this is yet another person who turned down the job due to cost of living and starting salary.

$65K? Are you fucking kidding me? You can get this shit in Texas! For California are you expected to sell your organs to pay rent? Live in a box or a closet?

As for outsourcing its just not worth the cost because you end up having local talent redo or fix the work that comes out of India. Too bad management doesn't know any better.

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Jun 19, 2017 - 5:40pm

wait... isn't this hr doing a good job though? this is them gathering market data for managers to understand what the market going rate of local talent is.... normally it's just some lady named pam who acts friendly then sends you a rejection letter.

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