High-Speed Traders Take On Startups In Battle for Talent

A few months after The Observer examined the flight of software engineers from Wall Street firms, The Wall Street Journal has a follow-on article of sorts focusing on how high-frequency trading outfits are trying to refashion themselves to appeal to programmers.

One example of silicon-flecked culture making its way into the hard-nosed world of trading culture comes from Chicago firm Chopper Trading, where employees get access to office “shuffleboard, pool, Ping-Pong or videogames.” Chopper’s CEO says the company has “virtually no turnover.”

Sounds great, but The Journal also notes that even though trading firms pay more money, some programmers are more interested in name-brand companies like Facebook. With a talent squeeze already underway, firms that want to hire people who can work computers may soon have to install bowling alleys, tennis courts, Jacuzzi tubs and waterslides; it’s a seller’s market.

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor