What do Tradeworx, Chopper Trading and DRW Trading Group have in common with Facebook, Yahoo and Google?
They desperately want the best and brightest newly-graduated tech geeks across the country, of course.
And, lately, the likes of Traderworx, Chopper and DRW -- high-frequency trading firms -- have been luring top recruits away from the most prestigious companies of the webosphere. Their bait of choice?
Money, ping-pong and paintball.
"A new high-frequency trading programmer with no advanced degree can expect to make between $75,000 to $95,000 in the first year, plus a bonus, which can add an additional 10% to 50%, according to Objective Paradigm, a recruiting company that works with proprietary-trading firms. Tech firms generally pay about 10% less."
Meanwhile, "employees at the Chicago offices of Chopper Trading can play shuffleboard, pool, Ping-Pong or videogames in the firm's 3,000-square-foot game and exercise room. At night, after U.S. markets close, they have access to tickets to a skybox at Chicago Bulls basketball games, Blackhawks hockey matches or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, organized paintball trips and company dinners. 'We have virtually no turnover,' said Chopper Trading Chief Executive Raj Fernando."
Despite the nice paycheck and lengthy list of perks, there is, at least, one catch: "Job candidates can be wary of taking a job that lands them outside the bubble of technology and social-media companies."
Mary Voss, chief executive of Foxhunt Staffing, explains, "It's easy to go from a Yahoo to a Google to a Facebook to a Twitter ... It's harder to go from a high-frequency trading firm to a Twitter."
In addition, according to Anthony Dostellio, managing director at recruiting firm Objective Paradigm, being able to "tell mom and dad you're going to work at a name-brand organization is powerful."
Fair enough, but isn't being able to buy mom and dad a Cadillac for Christmas more powerfui?