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Jennifer – Human Resources at Goldman Sachs

Jennifer joined Goldman Sachs in the Human Resource department in 2009. She was promoted in 2013 and now manages a team of four recruiters involved in the recruiting of analyst and associates.

Nicolas: Thanks a lot for doing this Jennifer and let’s start right away. How do you select the people to invite in for interviews?

Jennifer: We have three piles of resumes. One is for people from the target schools we recruit from, one is for referrals from analysts and associates and one is for referrals from the vice presidents and the managing directors.

Nicolas: Ok and whom do you invite from those different piles?

Jennifer: For the target schools and referrals from junior people, we go through the piles and invite the top 10 or top 20 candidates. For people in the referral pile from senior management, we invite everyone in for at least one interview.

Nicolas: Interesting. So everyone in that pile lands an interview. That’s why it’s worth networking with VPs and MDs sometimes!

Jennifer: It is. But no matter which pile you’re from, everyone is on equal terms during the interviews so you still have to impress the interviewer.

Nicolas: What kinds of people are usually referred by VPs and MDs?

Jennifer: Sometimes they are people from their school who impressed them during informal interviews…but most of the time they are daughters and sons of clients or even the child of their gardener! Senior people are all about generating business and granting favors and it’s reflected in their referrals.

Nicolas: Can we talk briefly about how you source candidates at the associate and above level?

Jennifer: Yes, for the analysts we covered that with target school recruiting and referrals. For the associates we are doing pretty much the same with 10/12 MBA schools. For lateral recruiting, we use mostly LinkedIn, referrals and headhunters because we are targeting very specific profiles.

Nicolas: What about resume screening? What kind of qualities are you looking for?

Jennifer: For students it’s all about being a type A person. High GPA or strong quantitative tests is one way to detect it but it can also be a combination of factors. If you have a strong enough GPA with good club involvement while working part time then I’ll be very impressed. This shows a drive to succeed and commitment. The same reasoning would apply for people who are really good athletes.

You also need to show that you know what you are getting into by having at least one finance related internship.

Nicolas: My final question is regarding HR themselves. In a field like investment banking where the bankers carry out a lot of recruiting efforts, how important is HR in the process?

Jennifer: HR is the gatekeeper. For Superdays for example, HR defines the quota. If a banker wants to invite an extra candidate, they need to convince me to give that extra slot. We are also important because we know how junior bankers act when they are not around MDs or VPs. So our opinion is valued for that too!

About Nicolas

Since 2011, I’ve worked with 100+ Investment Banking and Corporate Finance professionals to help them land their dream job. Investment Banking gigs at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Lazard. Corporate finance jobs at Google, Paypal and much more. From Analyst to Managing Directors, I’ve coached my clients on their networking technique and their LinkedIn profiles; I edited their resumes and cover letters, and grilled them during intensive interview preparation sessions. You may have originally discovered me through my work as an Associate Editor at Mergers & Inquisitions where I’ve been writing for over 200,000 readers. I also give speeches on recruiting and career performance in front of large audiences including Fortune 1000 CEOs, executives and… ambassadors! In 2014, given the amazing results we achieved with my clients I decided to quit my financial analyst job, work full time on coaching and I launched 300 Finance Gurus to dig even deeper into the art of finance recruiting. I am now going to grill 300 Managing Directors, CFOs, VPs, Associates and Analysts as well as headhunters and other coaches to give you the best of the best so you can skyrocket your finance career.