The Hybrid Nature of APAC Fintech Talent
Alan Anwar

When you are sourcing talent in an industry that is experiencing explosive growth, you have to join up the dots of human potential in some creative ways. When your region is also experiencing heady growth, the challenges mount yet further.

Asia-Pacific has always been a hotbed of technological innovation, but since I arrived in 2012, the market for Fintech talent has never been more complex and competitive than it is right now. There is a lot going on, and competition for the brightest and best has never been fiercer.

This is no longer joining the dots to find the right person A for company B. Recruitment in such a dynamic market has become a creative art form rather than a linear science, with only the most experienced recruiters able to match the (often unsure) expectations of hiring managers with the (sometimes left-field) candidate base.

For me, this is recruitment at its most interesting.

I set up Datasearch a little over 2 years ago now with a view to putting the search for hybrid candidates right at the heart of everything we do.

There is no such thing as a “perfect” Fintech candidate in this market, as everyone will have a different combination of skills and experiences, but we pride ourselves on aiming for imperfect perfection.

We are happy to persuade a client why a certain person would be worth chatting with, even if they are not a fit at first glance. When you recruit for potential it is not a matter of matching what has been, rather than understanding how past experiences might combine in a successful future. The hybrid candidates of the Fintech world often have a broader appreciation of the issues and are able to bring surprising benefits to their employers.

I am not, of course suggesting that we would pass over a candidate who is a fit on paper. I simply think that far too many companies or recruiters reject the hybrids and “diamonds in the rough” far too readily. That talent will go somewhere and it will inevitably flourish – we simply want it to go to our clients and nowhere else!

When you are confident to introduce hybrid candidates into the mix, you have to have a solid amount of trust with your clients. You don’t want to waste their time, but if you develop a track record of introducing “interesting” candidates alongside the standard models, they will become ever more receptive to your suggestions.

I am even a little nervous writing this blog, as the word hybrid could suggest that we are happy with recruiting people who are somehow “second best.” For me, however, absolutely the opposite is true. Our best hires have proved to be exactly these imperfect candidates who just felt like they had the “goldilocks” mix of skills to make their fit just right.

The next time a recruiter sends over someone who doesn’t seem perfect for the role, whether the recruiter is us or someone else, I would suggest that a little more digging is warranted. If the recruiter is used to dealing with hybrid candidates, they will be quick enough to explain their potential value.

APAC is full of high-potential hybrid Fintech talent.

It is our mission at Datasearch to find the right hybrid for you.


Alan Anwar is the Managing Director at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent - 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” hereAlternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on for a more detailed discussion.