So you thought banks really want to hire studious 20-something males who know everything there is to know about banking and spend their evenings reading up on valuation methods?
In corporate finance, at least, they do not want to hire people with this profile. In corporate finance, they want to hire people who aren’t completely immersed in financial services and who have intense outside interests. They also want to hire women.
“Banks receive a very large volume of applications and very few of them are from women,” says Chiara Bettonagli, a graduate recruiter at Cornell Partnership, which manages recruitment for various banks and corporate finance boutiques.
“The disparity between male and female applications is far lower in consulting,” says Bettonagli. “It’s not immediately clear why this is.”
In the worst case scenario, just 15% of candidates attending investment banking assessment centres are women. On a good day, this might increase to 30%.
In an effort to reverse this, banks are committing extra resources to female-only recruitment events. RBS, for example, recently ran a big event to attract women into its Banking and Financial Markets business.
Women aren’t the only Holy Grail of banks’ graduate recruiters. They also want the non-finance obsessed.
As we mentioned last month, there’s considerable enthusiasm for people who haven’t studied banking and finance.
“You get a lot of applications from people with limited social skills, who know everything there is to know about economics and maths, but nothing about anything else,” says one recruiter. “Banks really do want well-rounded individuals,” he adds.