1. What are the key decision points used by S.G. Cowen in making hiring decisions? What is your evaluation of the process used by the firm? The key decision points S.G. Cowen used in making hiring decision were two formal interviews and Super Saturday. To hire new employees, S.G. Cowen firstly sends team captains to each core schools to make company presentations and conduct ‘informational interviews’ as a supporting activity for formal process. And after receiving resumes from students, the interviewing team conducts first-round interviews and second-round interviews quickly. And the candidates who passed two interviews are invited to the Super Saturday. In these processes, members of each team are bankers, not human resource professional. The Super Saturday is the most distinguishing part of hiring process of S.G. Cowen. From Friday afternoon, invited candidates are served dinner and listen to CEO’s speech. And the next day after candidates had few sessions, the real recruiting committee discuss with the interviewers and make final decision.
These processes are very effective not only for the organization to select proper person but also for new employee to get used to the job. Though the informal interviews are not formal process, through that the realistic job preview can be given to the candidates by the recruiting team, whose members are not HR experts, but the hands-on bankers. This can prevent the firm’s being in trouble that some new recruits quit the job because of the difference between expectation and reality. And since that interviewer who conducted the previous step also conduct the first and second round interviews so that they can exclude the applicants who is not enthusiastic or who doesn’t fit the job. And in the Super Saturday, through dinner the seniors also can observe some factors outside the hiring process such as personality, communication skills. Since the discussion is done with many employees, it takes long time but the decision makers can consider several aspects each interviewer focused on and know more about candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.
2. What is your evaluation of the criteria used by this organization in making hiring decisions? The criteria S.G. Cowen used involves culture fit, whether the candidate likes to do the job, and how enthusiastic the candidate is. Those three criteria are not general standards of investment bank or other finance companies. Most of them require their potential employees finance knowledge, work experience for similar job, good GPA, etc.. Though other firms want to evaluate applicants with the factors S.G. Cowen used, they are unable to get those criteria from the applicants within their general recruiting process. Since almost every job seeker pretends to have good personality, to be passionate in recruiting process, without informal process such as informal interviews of S.G. Cowen, those factors other companies found are not particularly reliable. Therefore they cannot help sticking to those standards. However those criteria are significant indicators for evaluating how proper the candidate is for the company.
That whether the candidate likes the job and how enthusiastic the candidate is are important is pretty obvious. Someone who doesn’t like the job must be exhausted in someday. And even if he was so passionate that he could bear and did the job, he would no longer do the same performances when he became exhausted. Also the degree of enthusiasm is. But culture fit seems little different. In the bureaucracy, though someone has no culture fit, all he has to do might be just carrying out the given task. However S.G. Cowen is an emerging growth investment bank. It has smaller size, and also less bureaucratic than other big sized companies. Therefore the recruiting committee of this organization had better to select someone who is a bad mixer even though he or she has outstanding performance and knowledge. That someone could behave self-righteously and it would drive him to make serious mistakes. And there might be jealousy and envy from other employees which cause harm to cooperation.
3. Which two candidates would you select if you were a member of the recruiting committee? If I were a member of the recruiting committee, I would select Natalya Godlewska and Andy Sanchez. Natalya Godlewsk has passion, work experience and finance knowledge. These all compensate the company’s hiring criteria but only culture fit matters. I think this flaw comes from her nationality and bad English skill. And her superiors know about that, they can help her fixing that flaw. This weakness is far easier to fix than others like lack of knowledge or being passionless. Moreover, given that the motto of S.G. Cowen is to remain an emerging growth investment bank, the company needs employees who have great foreign language skills and she is the very person who speaks fluent Russian, Polish, German and some French. Though she might work in U.S.A, she can improve her English skill while she works with other employees.
Andy Sanchez is a successful entrepreneur who has poor business school GPA. He is enthusiastic and personable, and makes people comfortable. I think that he was experienced in business is irreplaceable to the theoretical superiority. Of course, if he had only the 2.8 GPA without any other strength I wouldn’t select him instead of others. However because of his enthusiasm he would be able to study for covering his weakness of theoretical part. Hence he is more proper than other candidates. Martin Street, who has charming point of outstanding leadership and good personality, seems to leave this organization someday, given another offer. Since the size of S.G. Cowen is small, on person’s absence can be fatal blow to the firm.
Ken Goldstein has work experience and good performance. However it might be hard for him to balance a family with being a banker. From a corporate standpoint, to put more weigh on family or on work both matters. If he focuses on family, he would try to avoid working by night or be less passionate than focusing on work and this might have bad effect on other employees. However if he focuses on work, there might be trouble with family and it should influence on his performance. Moreover the evaluation that he might dislike taking orders also strengthens the point.