Are you interested in working in fintech but are unsure about the kind of skills you need? We spoke to some of the top fintech firms in Ireland about how to get a job with them.
Want to work in the world of fintech? Perhaps you’ve been following our Fintech Week content and it has piqued your interest.
In many ways, the line between finance and fintech is beginning to dissolve. Increasing numbers of financial institutions are incorporating technology solutions. Meanwhile, smaller firms looking to change up established norms in this industry are cropping up left and right.
Your interest will only get you so far, though, without arming yourself with the right tools and knowledge on how you can nab a role. So, we spoke to representatives from EY, Mastercard, Fidelity Investments and Pramerica to hear more about what they look for in candidates.
What roles are you hiring for at the moment?
Pramerica’s Chris Lynch, VP of professional business services, says the company is currently looking for financial analysts “with the ability to write macros and to visualise data (Tableau, Power Bi etc). Data visualisation is especially important, as reporting is no longer restricted to exporting data – the idea today is to pull data and provide insights into the business by analysing and visualising it.”
Ann Marie Clyne, VP of human resources at Mastercard Ireland, explained that the payments giant has a variety of open positions across different skillsets. “The type of roles we are hiring include software engineering, cyber and security engineers, data scientists, scrum masters, reliability engineers, program managers.”
Similarly, EY is hiring for a number of different technology roles such as data and cybersecurity professionals. Caroline McAniff, EY Ireland head of recruitment, elaborated: “We are looking for RPA engineers, technical project managers, tech transformation programme and project managers, and architects.”
Fidelity Investments has positions up for grabs at its Dublin and Galway hubs, ranging from front-end to back-end development, full-stack engineering and data engineering. Meanwhile in operations, there are a variety of opportunities in reconciliation, corporate actions and its growth business focused on digital assets.
“This would mirror our hiring activity for the last 12 months,” explained Mitchell Cash, talent acquisition and development director at Fidelity Investments, “which has covered a vast array of roles and covers most of what our business touches, that range from large-scale requirements to niche skills to fill roles focused on rapid prototyping or innovation/incubation.”
What kind of technical skills are you seeking right now?
Surprisingly, yet also fortunately for jobseekers, the four firms are all seeking different kinds of skills. It shows how varied the fintech space now is, and also that many tech skills are transferable in this industry.
EY’s McAniff began: “EY is seeking skills in the areas of cloud services, solution, enterprise and data architecture, development and scripting languages, cloud-based data analytics programs, optimisation and machine learning, and cloud integration, among others.”
For Fidelity Investments, the priorities right now are roles and skills related to front-end or full-stack engineering, though not isolated to just those things.
Mastercard’s Clyne says: “We’re looking for people with experience in Java, blockchain, Splunk, information security principles, API development, full-stack engineering development and automated software testing.”
Finally, Pramerica’s Lynch noted the priority technical skills: “We are looking for people with the data visualisation skillset and people who are well versed in SQL, C++ and other query languages. We are looking for people with business skills as well as a deep domain knowledge.”
What kind of personality traits do you look out for?
You may have technical skills to beat the band, but the soft skills and personality traits you possess will also go a long way towards helping you secure a role at any of these companies.
Clyne explained that Mastercard’s core objective is finding people who have a passion for technology, and values that are in line with the company’s. “We look for individuals who have a creative mindset, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and we encourage all our people to bring their whole self to work.”
Lynch says that he looks for three main traits when recruiting for Pramerica: learning agility, resilience and creativity. If you have one set of skills but are quick to build more, that will set you apart.
Cash contends that while “growth mindset” has at this stage become a bit of a cliché, it’s a very important trait to have at Fidelity. “We have a wealth of professional development and career path options amongst an ever-changing fintech environment. Associates are most successful when they have a thirst for knowledge or growth.”
If you want to succeed at EY, you’ll need to be a solution-focused individual. Having experience of other industries is also a big help. “We are working with a variety of clients from lots of different sectors and industries so we need people who have worked in these sectors, which include banking, tech, utilities and government,” said McAniff.
What makes a candidate stand out?
So, say you have all these traits. How do you distinguish yourself from the throngs of people applying for these roles?
Given that Fidelity is teeming with “high-performing, agile teams”, Cash says that applicants will need to stand on merit “and their ability to tell their story without leaning on a CV”.
EY values a concise, clear CV and an interview candidate who can engage the interview panel and draw upon their experience to show their solutions acumen.
Clyne also echoed the value of a clear and concise CV filled with real-life examples to demonstrate problem-solving. Yet there’s also one simple thing candidates can do at the interview stage to improve their chances. “A candidate that stands out at interview is one who smiles! Candidates can be very nervous at interviews but a smile helps them and us to relax into a good conversation.”
Meanwhile, Lynch craves a succinct CV and one that includes the applicant’s crucial outcomes at their previous employer. “In an interview, I’m looking for someone who can talk specifics. The main things I look for are skillset, their reason for joining the organisation and the value the applicant thinks he/she brings to the table.”