Why Raj Fernando recruits only “A” players for Chopper Trading

Paint a picture

Chopper’s recruiting team attends job fairs at the top schools in the country. At this first stage of hiring, that team usually includes recruiters, traders, programmers and top executives — even Fernando himself. But he’s careful not to come off as too executive.

“We’re not a bunch of salesmen,” he says. “We’re not coming there in three-piece suits and $200 ties and trying to impress them. We’re ourselves when we go out there.”

That’s key, considering he’s not just looking for a candidate that fits the organization. He wants to make sure Chopper is a fit for the candidate, as well, so a crucial part of the interview process is painting an accurate picture of the firm to make sure he’s attracting the right crowd.

“It’s important that they know what they’re getting into because after a few months of interviewing and they turn down 15 other jobs, we don’t want them to come here and realize this isn’t what they thought they’d be doing,” Fernando says. “We’re very straight with them upfront on letting them know, ‘Hey, here’s the job.’”

Traders like John Sizemore travel to recruit and interview new trading assistants, then take the successful candidates on office tours to show them the environment they’d be working in. For example, the lack of walls between desks is an invitation for him to talk about the team atmosphere and open lines of communication. And the giant break room exemplifies the company culture, so Sizemore explains how employees deal with stress.

“Yes, we’re trying to spend a lot of time with the person so that we can get a good feel for what they’re like,” Sizemore says. “But also, we really want people to have a good idea of what they’re getting into so that there’s no surprise when it comes time to actually start work. We’re trying to hire people to retire here, and that being the case, we want people to really know what company is and what the company’s about and what it’s like to work here.”

11 thoughts on “Why Raj Fernando recruits only “A” players for Chopper Trading

  1. Are the straight A really so? Favoritism es still prevalent. Professors who favor the students who parents they know. Professors who immediately blacklist students who do not belong to theirs race. Grades are manipulated in order to sell the children of the privilege one, so that they be recruited by company like Fernando own.

  2. The lengthy interview process is very important. It takes a lot more than a resume and an hour of someone’s time to get to know them.

    1. That’s true Marie. It is also a good sign that they truly care about the people they hire and their employees. You don’t get that often these days.

  3. Interesting approach since these days recent college grads rarely stay at their jobs for more than five years.

    1. Yes, but that could be a result of some companies treating recent college graduates as if they are disposable. It’s refreshing that this company is trying a traditional approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *