The Top 9 Characteristics of an Exceptional Risk Management Candidate

The Top 9 Characteristics of an Exceptional Risk Management Candidate


Trading can be an exhilarating career path for some. But given that it is inherently a game of risk and returns, only a tiny percentage of people in the world have the skills required to succeed in risk management. For individuals embarking on this career path, the motivation may be to win as much on a trade as possible. However, the right attitude is how much may be lost. When risk is mitigated, traders augment their ability to make more money in the market.


Consequently, risk managers must remain calm in potentially high-stress environments and, of course, have a substantial appetite for risk. In our 20 years of operation, we have identified the top nine characteristics of exceptional risk management candidates – some being slightly more straightforward to identify than others. 


Hard Skills Required for Risk Management Candidates


The following hard skills and credentials are things we might look for on a resume or CV. While not effortless to obtain, they are easier to identify in a candidate.


1. Strong Ability to Work With Numbers


It should go without saying that to be successful, even mildly so, in trading and risk management, a candidate must have strong mathematical and quantitative skills. The trading world has a lot of information to process, and professionals need to feel confident working with numbers. With this comes a great eye for detail also!


2. Endurance to Regulatory Requirements and Change


Studies show that risk management will experience significant changes in 10 to 15 years. Therefore, it is paramount for these professionals to have a steady pulse on various regulatory requirements and changes. And successful risk managers will have strong relationships with compliance professionals and invest time in understanding relevant regulations in their space.


Coupled with understanding these demands, successful risk managers will spend significant time and resources educating themselves on their market and industry nuances. Failing to do so may yield exposure to risks that could have been avoidable. 


3. Intellect and Academic Credentials


Of course, candidates graduating from top universities with Ph.D.'s or MBA's in mathematics, economics, statistics, or related quantitative disciples may grab a hiring manager's attention. Yet, we find that what isn't taught in school sometimes matters more. That said, candidates must demonstrate the ability to think long-term and strategically to adequately assess potential risks in often volatile financial markets.   


4. Established Track Record


Of course, when we review a candidate's background, we must see proven elements of success before recommending them to a client. This sometimes comes down to assessing a candidate's pattern of behaviors – particularly if they are relatively green in the market. But for more seasoned professionals, we're looking at quantitative measures. Additionally, when we review a candidate, we also consider the 'why' for getting into the profession. For example, is it the thrill – meaning more gambling-style actions? Or the money? The answers to these questions will often surface once we examine a candidate's track record. 


5. Technical Aptitude


We've already established that a career in risk management requires considerable intellect. In addition, is a solid technical aptitude. Some of the top technical skills we look for in risk management candidates are:



Soft Skills Required for Risk Management Candidates


While the skills above may be more identifiable, the skills below are less straightforward and take an experienced talent acquisition professional to evaluate. They are more challenging to develop and indeed more difficult to change!


6. Resilience and Ability to Adapt


The trading environment is ever-shifting and often quite uncertain – with significant and potentially expensive consequences if risk is inadequately managed. Therefore, working under pressure is a must for risk managers. Equally crucial is how these individuals manage stress – more importantly – how they minimize their stress over time. Burnout can easily be realized in this industry – and we recognize that successful risk managers can achieve some sense of balance in their life to mitigate exhaustion.


7. Work Ethic


Risk management is not an easy career path to take. And, a candidate's work ethic is something we examine closely. Without an intrinsic passion for this type of work, we often find it challenging to develop the kind of stamina required to succeed in this area.


8. Entrepreneurial Spirit


To possess an entrepreneurial spirit, one must constantly innovate, work autonomously, and be decisive. And that is a must as a risk manager. Candidates need to have the self-confidence to take risks; otherwise, we have seen the realities of this role wear people down and affect other areas of life.


9. A Great Social Game


You'll know what we're talking about for any Survivor fans here. To realize success in this role, it's required to have strong communication skills and the ability to influence, present, and network. As mentioned previously, risk managers need to have a substantial understanding of their market and business, and this will require interacting and collaborating with others.


Are you interested in a career in risk management? Check out our available roles!