As a result of a supply-demand imbalance, hedge fund managers are employing new tactics to identify, hire, retain and promote more women and people from diverse backgrounds.
The demand for a more diverse and inclusive workforce is coming from their institutional clients, many of whom are asking the same of all of their money managers, both hedge fund managers and investment consultants said.
"It's hard for hedge funds to find and attract diverse candidates and harder to retain them because they are in such high demand. There is a lot of poaching going on," said Francis J. Griffin, director, private markets, who is based in the San Francisco office of Verus Advisory.
Common practices designed by large hedge fund firms to search out likely candidates include:
- Making contact with promising candidates on multiple college campuses early in their college years, offering internships and fellowships, and recruiting the best prospects before graduation.
- Reaching out to diverse individuals who left money management and are interested in returning to the industry and joining investment or operations teams.
- Offering extensive training, mentoring and executive development programs throughout an employee's career to strengthen the company overall and improve retention rates.
- Providing generous company benefits to enable employees to achieve a satisfying work-life balance, which also increases retention.
- Supporting a broad range of affinity-based employee networks to help connect people with similar interests, ethnicity or goals.