Wall Street jobs are hot again with tech and crypto layoffs

Wall Street jobs are hot again with tech and crypto layoffs

After years of fighting to attract computer engineers who prefer to work for big tech groups or crypto startups, Wall Street firms say they are regaining lost ground in the talent war as layoffs and hiring freezes spread across Silicon Valley.

As exchanges, banks and market makers continue to expand during the recent market downturn, executives say their relative stability has made them more attractive destinations.

“We definitely saw an influx of candidates coming in from big tech startups, cryptocurrency, and top-tier companies,” said Josh Woods, head of systemic trading technology at Citadel Securities, where applications for tech jobs jumped more than 50 percent, quarter by quarter.

“Candidates are looking at the job market more realistically now, similar to the way investors in downturns look at value and fundamentals.”

Falling stock and cryptocurrency prices, rising interest rates and fears of an impending recession have led to a sudden reversal in fortunes since the start of the year for the previously booming tech sector. More than 75,000 jobs have been announced so far in 2022, according to tracking website Layoffs.fyi, and even companies like Apple and Alphabet have paused hiring or slowed.

In contrast, market volatility has fueled trading volumes at companies like Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, and Cboe Global Markets, whose tech teams have grown by more than a quarter this year.

ICE said, “Its stability through many downturns resonates [candidates]. For those who have more experience with startups and crypto companies, they will appreciate the “all-weather” nature of our business. “

As traditional financial firms have become increasingly dependent on technology, intense competition for skilled employees has driven up costs. A senior executive at a large bank said the challenge has become particularly acute due to the proliferation of remote work during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was easy for engineers working from home to change jobs — they just need to log into a different computer,” he said. “It’s changing now as hiring slows at Apple and Facebook.”

Nasdaq said in January that “increasing competition for talent” was expected to be a critical driver of higher costs this year, but by the time it reported second-quarter earnings in late July, CEO Adina Friedman told analysts that the company was “starting to see More people who are really willing to come to it,” including several alleged employees who left before rejoining.

An industry executive said new recruits’ salaries had not yet come down, but he said recent rapid increases are slowing.

However, many executives emphasized that the market remains competitive, especially for engineers with the most in-demand skills. “The diversity and robustness of our business . . . allows us to invest in the business at a time when others are forced to contract,” said Chris Isaacson, chief operating officer of Cboe.

But he added, “The best talent always has opportunities. We will need to remain competitive… the way we reward people and seek to retain them.”

Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York

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