SG Cowen Firm
SG Cowen Firm
SG Cowen is a financial firm in the U.S. that is running a hiring process, conducted by Chip RAE who is the director of recruiting at SG Cowen. The case shows the modality through which the hiring process for new outside associates, which begins in the fall, works.
The company has different sources of recruiting associates: some analysts can be promoted to first-year associate after being 3 years in the company, without needing to go to a business school. Another source of candidates is students who are proposed a full-time contract after they finish their internship in the company. A third option is to hire outside candidates from business schools.
There are three main stages in which the case is developed: on-campus round, informational interviews and Super Saturday. During this process Rae’s strategy is to use banking professional and not HR professional to conduct the decision process.
There are two types of interviewers: for first meetings like on-campus round, team leaders who have few years of financial bank background are assigned to core schools. They offer students from various fields the possibility to attend SG Cowen’s Super Saturday recruiting, and are free to consider and evaluate the candidates on their own way. On Super Saturday senior bankers judge candidates for their potential in a long-term perspective. Super Saturday begin in Friday afternoon with informal conversations (dinner, cocktails). Then on Saturday, there are 30 candidates and 30 interviewers for the recruiting process which lasts in the morning.
SG Cowen was first interested in the top 10 schools. But then, according to the Rae’s strategy, they have paid more attention to the next top 15 universities for hiring. Instead of hiring candidate in middle-class of top 10 business schools, they go to these 15 universities in order to attract the best students of these schools. These students are also tended to be more loyal to the company.
The company is growing and will extend to Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, but they believe that they have their midst. Therefore, it is becoming more charming to talented people.
The company needs to hire 15 people between the 30 candidates that have been chosen to the Super Saturday. 30 bankers discuss about results of interviews in order to make decisions in the same day. They have classed people between “yes” and “no”, but the difficult part is that it still remained 4 candidates with strong qualities and skills into the “maybe” category for only 2 offers available.
The thought of the company about what they need and what they’re looking for is the following: people very motivated in working for them, who are totally involved in the corporate vision and also with a strong culture fit. They want self-starter and not people who need to be told what they have to do.
Furthermore, the person who will be hired has to feed the needs of the company, as well as with his performance, planning and management skills.
KEY HRM CONCEPTS AND MODELS
HRM concerns personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce. So HRM concepts include: strategic planning, job analysis, the selecting process, performance management, training, compensations, internal employee relations, international HRM Systems. As we have already learned from strategic planning, progressive HRM practices can have a significant effect on Corporate performance. In the case they are starting from the present bank sector and it needs a new team. So we can focus on recruitment process of HRM to analyze the case. Two of the most important aspects of staffing are HRM planning and recruitment. Planning is the meaning of HR business planning, it belongs to past and present definition of personnel needs. With major changes in the business environment and increasingly uncertainty, many organizations have adopted a long term perspective to integrate planning and recruitment together.
All in all, the model of The Organizational Recruitment Process suits perfectly to our case. Planning and recruiting need a plan to go on. If we first look the model steps, we will see the following steps: OBJECTIVE which is including quality of employees and job performance STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT with the answer of these questions: Whom? Where? When? RECRUITMENT OBJECTIVES as sources message about job
INTERVENING about offer, attention and knowledge of candidates
However, it is a just general approach to view HRM processes of the company. Probably these steps are same in all the firms. So if we need to go on more staffing side of the reviewing, we would prefer to analyze the case in the Bottom-Line Chronology on Staffing. It starts with the defining the job with a focus on job specifications (competencies) compatible with strategic goals and executing these goals. In the last lesson also we went on the importance of descriptions so it is essential to structure what kind of job requirements needed according to specifications. Second step of Bottom- Line Chronology is recruiting from a broad pool of candidates.
Later it is moving on using valid initial screening devices, doing background and references check using behavioral interviewing technique with structured format or independent multiple interviewers asking behavioral questions. Using weighting scheme for information and extend an offer are the final steps of that chronology. In the book it is mentioned that effective selection requires effective recruiting. But it is also sure that the recruiting should be done only when the organization has determined which KASOCs or competencies are required to execute strategic goals.
CASE ANALYSIS ACCORDING TO THE CONCEPTS AND MODELS IDENTIFIED
We decided to analyze case first with “The Organizational Recruitment Process”. In the case which we have read, these processes are exactly fitted. It starts with objectives of company, they want to go on healthcare and technology sector, and they would like to create a team for it. The objective as clear which is written in the case: “Banking depended on deep knowledge collected through its equity research team, highly regarded for its coverage of both health care and technology”.
In development steps, we could see the answers of who, where, and when. Who: As we have said before they are collecting some candidates from various business schools. They are giving one captain to students who have bank background. It shows us they are caring of the quality. Where: At Super Saturday. Super Saturday is a day of the year where they can meet with applicants and starts evaluation process. When: It starts Friday afternoon with dinner and cocktails, continues on Saturday with some sessions.
As recruitment objective, it is certain from case that firstly they are going to universities for to present company, as a defining objectives and steps of company they are giving the message to applicant the concepts.
Intervening is such as looking educational, business backgrounds of applicants. They are going on their leaderships skills as well. As we can see from the papers which was made by interviewers we could see the abilities they are looking for.
Finally, recruitment results are focus on last four persons: Andy Sanchez, Ken Goldstein, Martin Street, and Natalya Godlewska.
If we could detailed the analyzing with the process of Bottom Line Chronology on Staffing -which we believe need to be- that we mentioned at previous part, we need to focus first job competencies. The problem occurring here is that we could not be able to see, competencies and job description from the beginning to end of the case. Every HR manager comes with different requirements. Whereas one manager wrote the interview paper of the candidate, she didn’t have financial background, other HR manager can say that it is not needed. Even the company CO has legal background as well. They are continuing with the importance of communication, leadership, management.
But still we need to specify clearly what kind of skills needed for that job. O*NET is very good example about that topic and also with that case as well. As we have seen in the class and the inside of the book, O*NET is clearly describing who is needed to be hired. KASOC (knowledge, abilities, skills, and other characteristics) is the competencies. After making it clearly described, it could be easier to focus on some candidate test and results for fair and fast selection. After this part, we will mention more about the other problems and solutions about it.
For this step we can summarize as, HRM level requires initial planning for all management process. In HRM it is important to have good plan at recruitment process, staffing is very important to create satisfied employers all around the company starts with selection best profiles for company. If we look the model of organizational recruitment process, every company usually has the same structure. But to understand company better and to have best employers around the company needs some more tools. And these tools only could be selected by the company, which knows their needs more than somebody else out of the company.
MAJOR PROBLEMS IN THE CASE
We identified some critical aspects in the hiring process led by the bank. We can classify them according to three specific areas:
Job analysis and recruiting:
Job descriptions (task, responsibilities, and duties) and job specifications are not specified, so it’s not clear for instances which are the skills required to assume the work position. It’s true that from the case is quite clear the intention of the company to look for people according on their behavior’s characteristics more than on their skills, but when they are speaking about Andy Sanchez they are quite focused on the numbers about his business school GPA (there’s a contradiction). Since there are no well-defined parameters, the hiring process is harder because every candidate have some pros and some cons and so it is more complicated deciding which of them hire.
People involved in the judgment of candidates are not HR professionals but they are bankers who have only the technical point of view. The point of view of the HR professionals is required since they are more capable in the relationships management and communication.
There could be a big problem with the interviews conducted by the team captains in the core schools, in fact they could be misdirects in the process due to personal preferences emerged during the interviews. There is no a common and fair method to know the student from core and non-core schools in the same way. The bankers at the Super Saturday are there during their free time, so they want to conclude the task as soon as possible, and they are very confident about they are able to do that, but actually every time there’re strong disagreements that make the process longer.
Due to the last, their decisions could be influenced by their annoyed mood and their will to finish the meeting early. Super Saturday is an activity that has to be completed in just one day and this is a too short time for accomplish this task that is a core task of the bank (“our most priority”). The bankers should assess candidates according to an overall company judgment without give to their work group a key role, but obviously, since each banker is focused on his own work, this goal is really difficult to be achieved.
MOST CRITICAL PROBLEM IN THE CASE
Even though there are several problems in the hiring process, the most critical problem is lack of HR professionals, in other words, interviewers who can manage the selection process. It may be asserted that bankers would have better choices, however in the judgment of the candidates, certain aspects should be considered such as technical and human resources. In this case, people involved in judgment of hiring process are only bankers, but an HR professional is also needed to assist the decision process. They may look from different point of views.
While the bankers are the correct ones who actually know the job, on the other hand HR professionals are the ones who are capable of interpersonal relationships, communication, and personal growth. From a technical point of view, bankers are essential to decide which candidate to be chosen. As it was indicated during the class sessions of HRM, even the small companies need to have HR department and have some professionals to hire employees.
THREE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
The company can work with a consultancy agency which focused on recruiting and selecting people by professional HR managers and interviewers. This external agency would provide several candidates carefully selected to SG Cowen and would be paid for this. It would also permits to gain some time for the company, because only the best candidates would have the possibility to be interviewed by people of SG Cowen, according to the criterion send to the consultancy agency.
An internal HR department can be built inside SG Cowen, which has enough time and resources to hire people. This HR department could construct a strategy of recruiting, design and monitoring the process which is important to hire the best candidates. HR professionals could create a formal process to plan, recruit and hire people. They could also provide more accurate information such as job description, specification criteria, and a formal way to conduct interviews. They also could train some of SG Cowen’s bankers in order to make them qualified for recruiting and selecting candidates.
Choose several bankers taking charge of hiring new staff. Instead of 30 bankers, there could be between 5 to 10 bankers who would organize the interview meeting of the 30 candidates and the making-decision process. They can create a standardized testing system according to the requirements needed in the company, which would lead to more homogeneous criteria for analyzing and choosing the most suitable person for the company. A document could be also created, in which candidates fill in personal information like their characteristic, experience and personality.
RECOMMENDATION OF ONE SOLUTION AND CHOICE OF A RATIONAL
According to our analysis, we recommend that the best solution for improving the hiring performance at SG COWEN is to create their own HR department. Inside this HR department, professionals will have a better knowledge for designing and monitoring the hiring process. This would solve the most critical problem that only bankers conduct the recruitment without a formal job description and job specification, and also without standardized rules. Internal HR professionals also know better the skills and abilities required for applicants inside the company than external professionals. The department will have a formal process to plan, recruit, hire, conduct interviews, and some time to select relevant criterion linked to reliability, validity, and utility.
Bankers should be included in a second part of the process, since they have the technical skills. They could be trained in order to follow a standardized method and make more accurate judgment about the candidates.
According to us, Candidates that fulfilled the most the needs of the firm are the following:
She has a Degree in finance and the highest grade point average she has wisdom and she would be loyal for the firm
She was teaching assistant
bankers search people to love teaching
She worked four years in a software company
one of the most important things for bankers because they search people who are attracted to a place like this, understand what this is, people who loved technology and emerging growth She is determined, ambitious and ready to work hard
she has demonstrated a pattern of success
She is a go-getter, radiated positive energy and a can-do attitude.
bankers search people who love the work, sell and hunt
Her lacks are the fears of her culture fit and her English skills
but it doesn’t seem to be an issue with clients
He is a 2nd-year MBA and a completed undergraduate degree in economics at UCLA
He is successful Entrepreneur for three years:
he’s likely a fast learner
He is enthusiastic, personable and friendly and he speaks very cogently:
bankers search people who can make people more comfortable He is well informed about the firm:
one of the most important things to the bankers, because they search people who are attracted to a place like this, people who loved technology and emerging growth He is ready for new challenges:
for the bankers is important that the candidate could make the transmission His lack is that he had so many Cs in his undergraduate:
but his SAT score is very competitive and his has one of the highest GMAT scores