Cowen

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S.G.Cowen Case

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Cowen

  1. 1. Staffing at S G Cowen
  2. 2. Investment Banking Industry <ul><li>HR is central </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compensation costs 50% of revenue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Difficult to get talent, esp. before the dotcom bust </li></ul>
  3. 3. S G Cowen <ul><li>Assets of over $ 430bn </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on healthcare and technology </li></ul><ul><li>Medium sized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less bureaucracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move much faster </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. S G Cowen (contd.) <ul><li>More freedom and responsibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“the type of person who does well here doesn’t want to be told what to do.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hands on high touch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create jobs for people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruiting included on performance review </li></ul><ul><li>Rejection of an offer as a blow to co. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Hiring Process <ul><li>New class of associates </li></ul><ul><li>Core business schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Next 15 schools in the top 25: loyal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top of the class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defect after dotcom bust? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HR as symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Resist any kind of ‘science’ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Criteria for Hiring <ul><li>Demonstrated a pattern of success </li></ul><ul><li>Fast learners </li></ul><ul><li>“fit” </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of information </li></ul><ul><li>Signals that can ‘differentiate’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions as certifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients also look for this: non MBAs? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Informational Interview <ul><li>Team captains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banking professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First level screens </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic job previews? </li></ul><ul><li>Standard presentation by HR? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement of the bankers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. On Campus Interview <ul><li>Sr./ associates conduct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification of talent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessing skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liable for the quality of candidates brought </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier to handle by HR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Associates are associates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Breadth & long term view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future peers and rivals </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. On Campus Interview (contd.) <ul><li>Rae as institutional memory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge mgmt.? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yield: 12.5% </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed notes during interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Culture fit </li></ul>
  10. 10. Super Saturday <ul><li>Top bankers </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple interviews/ interviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Confident of ‘whipping through the list’ </li></ul><ul><li>Yield: 66% </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo social setting with a formal interview process </li></ul><ul><li>Very finality </li></ul>
  11. 11. Interviewing <ul><li>Each had their own methodology </li></ul><ul><li>“ Psychologists and sociologists have studied the reliability and validity of job interviews in great depth, and their conclusions are somewhat devastating . Job interviews are neither reliable nor valid in general .” (Baron & Kreps, Strategic human resources, 1999) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interviewing (contd. 1) <ul><li>Recommendation of literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More structure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hiring is a ‘romantic’ process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Date vs. dry logic of arranged marriage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ A good HR practitioner has to be a proficient detective who asks the kind of questions that get candidates to open up and reveal their good and bad workplace characteristics.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Interviewing (contd. 2) <ul><li>“Red flags” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture fit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variance is good </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share real life experience </li></ul><ul><li>Some structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul>
  14. 14. Aids for Hiring <ul><li>Grades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grades and job performance are loosely correlated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How honest are references? </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological tests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpreting the results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cause-effect relationships at work </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Culture through Hiring <ul><li>Get people to behave like a firm </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging the entire firm </li></ul><ul><li>“ right stuff” </li></ul><ul><li>Is a firm in which everyone fits truly a desirable thing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ideal type” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal values vs. organisational values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cowen stands vs. aspires </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Candidates <ul><li>Godlewska </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Culture fit”?: English, social skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go getter, technical skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Street </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership: army </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wharton grades not disclosed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of interest </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Candidates (contd.) <ul><li>Goldstein </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistently good performer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Too mature” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sanchez </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur, self starter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grades, other interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ran a test coaching service himself </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Barriers to Change <ul><li>Frank discussion on what the job demands </li></ul><ul><li>Looking different to third parties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional pressures </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><li>Posthuma et al. 2002 Beyond employment interview validity. Personnel psychology , 55, 1-81. </li></ul><ul><li>Campion 1997 A review of structure in the selection interview. Personnel psychology , 690. </li></ul>

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