Part II New 4 Part Series

Part I discussed how to define FinTech and find your place in the 19 different sectors.  We now turn to what is the profile of a FinTech that welcomes the finance professional who wants to pivot from Wall Street.

Which companies should be on your target company list based on the company attributes that can create a great, long-term lucrative relationship?

Target company list?

Passive job seekers use job boards and company websites. As I have blogged about many times before including the #1 Reason Why Job Boards Don’t Work, this methodology is simply inefficient.

Inefficient from the point of view that research shows that 75% of the posted jobs are not “real”.  They are already promised to an internal candidate or are simply stale.

Even starting to use the job boards and company websites can throw confident job seekers into frustration, feelings of insecurity, and incompetency.  When has a passive approach ever worked for something so important as your career?

Stop the passive approach. What if you start a strong networking campaign that can get you on the inside of the FinTech of your choice to access the hidden job market? Now you have started to take control of your job search.  You make the list of 20-40 FinTech companies you want to work for.

FinTechs that will and won’t value you

Unless you are starting your own firm, many FinTechs will simply never see your value add to their organization at a given point in time.  Please understand that certain FinTechs don’t want ex-Wall Street professionals at certain points in their growth cycle.

So, what types of FinTechs should you target?

FinTech Sectors

As I discussed in Part I, selecting the sector or sub-sector within the FinTech world is your first step.  I suggest you target 2-4 sectors and focus your energies on learning as much as possible about them.

FinTech Growth Stage

Since the “tech” in FinTech usually defines the company value add, most start-ups and younger companies (under 5 years old) focus on technical, not business talent. Developers, developers, developers with a good CEO are building products and services.

The CEO or advisory board can provide some level of subject matter expertise. They don’t need you at this point as a general rule.

Most of these early growth companies don’t perceive the need for financial services professionals yet.  Short-sighted, yes; however, the market is the market.

Once a company has a viable initial product and sufficient funding, it can contemplate hiring non-technical professionals. Marketing, sales, finance, accounting, HR, strategy, operations professionals, etc.

FinTech funding round

You generally want to stay away from FinTechs in funding rounds in or prior to Series C.  These pre-Series C companies don’t have enough product maturity to bring in business talent.

When a company has raised $300+ million in a Series D or later, it is a great target for Wall Street professionals.  Of course, there are exceptions, but I simply provide a guide.

The closer to going public, the more likely the firm needs to fill out a full roster of professionals to show investors they are viable and have “grown-up”.

FinTech age bias

Notwithstanding everything said, I know plenty of Series D rounds that won’t hire talent under the age of 35. The CEO and Board feel that an age cut-off is appropriate for them.  Of course, they will never admit this fact since it is illegal.

Age bias is worse in FinTech than in any other field I know.

How do you know the age of the company employees to give you a feel for their potential age bias?

First, you can utilize your own network or a LinkedIn reach-out campaign to speak with company employees. Get the skinny behind the scenes.

If you want to get a free month or two of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a more advanced version of the free or Business Premium service, you can pretty easily calculate the average age and oldest FinTech employees. Email me at mike@mikemittleman.com, and I can give you more details and a free 2 months!!

FinTech age

Company age and funding round do not always correlate.  Older companies are generally more apt to hire the 40+-year-old crowd since they have survived major milestones in their business.

FinTechs over 10 years old are not uncommon and generally have a more mature attitude towards hiring.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, your job search is hard enough.  Including and excluding FinTech targets will save you many bottles of codeine, Jack Daniels, and other fine spirits.

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