Explain My first negative recruiting experience was when I applied for an internship at a law firm. I had my interview with both a recruiter and an associate of the firm. Right at the start of the interview I felt there was no fit between myself and the people on the other side of the table. I think I answered most of their questions in a way that I was satisfied with, but I felt that they were really trying to trap me into giving a “wrong” answer. I got this feeling because they were asking me questions that had totally no relevance to what I was applying for.
Furthermore, I got the feeling they were looking down on me as they did not seem to acknowledge some of my achievements (my grades for example). At the end they rejected me because they felt that I did not speak fluent Dutch, even though I have lived in the Netherlands all of my life. I was very disappointed about this, but I did learn how important this cultural fit is. When I look back now I always say to myself that I wouldn’t want to spend 60+ hours a week with people I have no connection with in the first place.
What is your evaluation of the criteria used by this organization in making hiring decisions? Jim Kennedy has specified four types of criteria that have to be taken into account when determining whether there is a fit between the candidate and the job profile. These are education and experience, intellectual capabilities, personality characteristics and motivational characteristics. SG Cowen’s associate evaluation form has the following criteria listed: commitment to firm, maturity, interpersonal skills, leadership, technical skills and work ethic.
Both criteria sets are listed in the table below. I think that SG Cowen uses many of the criteria that Jim Kennedy has identified. What is very different though is that for SG Cowen experience in the current field is not important. Instead they look for a form of affinity with financial markets (as can be seen in the assessment of a candidate’s accounting/finance skills). Which two candidates would you select if you were a member of the recruiting committee at SG Cowen? I would select Natalya Godlweska and Andy Sanchez.
In my opinion investment banking is all about being able to learn fast and commitment. Therefore in a candidate I would look for someone who has been successful and willing to commit himself to both the firm and the job. I believe Natalya and Andy fit these criteria the most. Natalya was Cornell’s top student and Andy managed a highly successful business. I believe Martin has not made up his mind on where he wants to work, which to me says he is not willing to commit himself to SG Cowen. Ken on the other hand has already shown commitment in his previous job.
But I think the hurdle for him are his two very young kids. Having a kid requires enormous amounts of time, especially in their young years and this cannot be combined with a job that requires 120 hours a week of your time. Name one key difference or similarity between hiring and recruiting at SG Cowen and your HR Plan company, and give your opinion on this. For our HR plan we have chosen the company Danone. The recruitment process that SG Cowen utilizes is very different from that of Danone. SG Cowen has chosen one specific day, Super Saturday, as its only recruitment day.
On this day all of the open spots for associates get filled up. Danone recruits throughout the year and essentially has no application deadlines. In my opinion SG Cowen is losing out on many top candidates due to its strict recruitment procedure. By having only one day and thus one deadline to submit your application (in a year! ) they may lose out on top candidates who are tied up for some reason and therefore cannot apply. Noone would be willing to wait a full year, especially in the banking industry where you have so many other good alternatives.