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How long before banks go back to hiring experienced juniors?

Banks are recruiting senior staff and taking on university leavers and MBAs, but the hiring action around experienced analysts and associates remains negligible.

And despite claims that M&A is picking up, recruiters say there’s absolutely no indication when hiring at this level will resume.

This is partly because recruiters don’t know what’s going on: there are so many people on the market that banks are able to hire directly. It’s also because it takes a big pick-up in activity to drive recruitment of experienced juniors: it can be easier to reallocate people internally.

“Most places have enough people to support the deals that they’ve got, and enough slack to support a small increase in any extra deals that come in. If there is a step change in flow then the case for revisiting their junior resource needs will have to be revisited” says Jim Nairn at recruitment firm The Cornell Partnership.

“Banks are only going to hire at this level when activity picks up significantly,” says the head of HR at one European bank in the City. “It will be next year before we’re likely to need any experienced analysts or associates.”

The head of recruitment at one major US bank says junior hiring tends to be driven mostly by poaching. He also says that it lags mid-ranking and senior hiring by a few months, implying that it will happen in the near future. “The surge of refinancing coming out of the credit crunch means that our capital markets business is now firing on all cylinders and we’re focusing recruitment at the mid-ranking and senior level.”

In the meantime, the head of HR says redundant analysts and associates should make the most of their time off: “You should be studying, travelling, and living somewhere very cheap.”

Comments (30)

  1. Not for another few years, I hope.

    I was fortunate enough to be in the minority from a 2007 analyst class who stayed on. About to get promoted to Associate, whilst they’re struggling to get anything my career carries on. Will be awesome in a couple of years when there’s huge demand for VPs and not many people.. :-D

  2. Banks are hiring university leavers and MBAs? Really?..
    I thought that market for entry level/1st year analysts is dead, I hardly know anyone among my university friends who managed to secure an graduate job from IB/AM/PE/etc. in 08/09

  3. John, you must have gone to a inferior university or have unambitious friends. I do Economics & Maths at LSE, just finished finals and virtually everyone I know is heading straight into front office M&A, sales/trading, with a few straight into hedge funds and private equity.

  4. AG, which companies and how you approached these companies? As far as am aware, graduate schemes are closed and open again in September.

  5. klabrou, what?? We all did internships last summer and then won graduate offers around September to begin full-time this summer. Same story at every firm around – Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, JPMorgan, Bain etc.

  6. Way too often, the comments on this site are littered with broad hints of pedantry, and annoying attitudes. “I’m an Oxbridge graduate, I’m better than you are”, “me and my ambitious friends at LSE have multiple job offers from BBIB investment banks”, “your university is inferior”, “I’m in FO, I earned 1.5m in bonuses”.
    Seriously, its boring and when you grow up, you’ll look back and realise how silly it all was. The best of the best, don’t talk too much, they just go out there and perform as their ability dictates.

  7. Strangely, i actually think the quality of analysts has been falling. Dread to think what this class will be like. We’ll have the likes of AG coming in not being able to do a thing for himself, having studied not enough maths and not enough economics in his “economics and maths” degree. if i was hr i’d not consider anyone with “and” in their degree subject title. Just an easier, weakened down course compared to the individual courses.

    University exams are getting easier perhaps just like the way AS/A levels are ridiculously poor. I taught 6th formers back while i was an undergrad in 2000 and even then the quality of the papers had fallen dramatically.

    After a year of work being from oxford/cambridge / whatever does not matter. Granted, it’s great to get in and avoiding the “cr@p” uni filter HR puts on hiring grads

  8. Well said it’s amazing how much these oxbridge people love themselves when the truth is they aren’t even more intelligent, they just went to better private schools and had everything given to them on a plate!

  9. and that s the case AG.

    LSE, OXBRIDGE, IMPERIAL graduates secured a position on BB IBs because of the status quo of their UNI. Believe me there are graduates from top 20 unis clever than you and your peers.

    There are 130 other universities around the UK, and many graduates who still looking for a job. Look the whole picture… You ll have to learn this at your FO job

  10. “Well said it’s amazing how much these oxbridge people love themselves when the truth is they aren’t even more intelligent, they just went to better private schools and had everything given to them on a plate!”

    But obviously private school educated people are infinitely better suited to the vast majority of banking jobs than state school educated ones? The only jobs state-schoolers can do is trading where it requires zero interaction with a (most likely public school) client.

  11. kolabrou, LSE and Imperial got just one advantage – they’re located in London. So for banks it’s much easier to get there. The quality of teaching is much worse than at other top UK Uni such as Oxbridge, Warwick, Durham, St Andrews, Bristol, UCL, York

    I know many graduates from LSE and Imperial who continued their studies at those uni and couldn’t pass basic exams.

    I think that u should be very happy that u’r not in such a difficult situation as many people appeared to be (and who also graduated from yr “alma mater”)

  12. I’m studying Economics & Maths @LSE and can tell you that AG is talking out of his/her backside. There aren’t that many people on the course and hardly anyone has an offer – certainly not in banking. The biggest groups seem to be civil service and people continuing to MSc programmes.

  13. AG, with regards to your previous post: I went to warwick and did an internship at a top IB, less than 20% of its interns received job offers for 09 and graduate recruitment was frozen. As far as I know this was the case for most IBs

  14. John and LSE&PS, like I said it depends on the people you associate with within a degree course. Obviously there’s a lot of dead weight amongst any broad group but I’m in an inner circle of people who successfully converted their internships – we all aided each other with insider knowledge exactly how to successfully convert.. so no failures here. However that 20% statistic is definitely not the same across all banks, where I’m heading to they gave 80% of us offers (having had a massively shrunk 08 interns class in the first place).

    Your jealous comments that we’re privileged because we went to private school are utterly pathetic. If you know about British born people at the LSE, you’ll in fact find a huge proportion went to average / below-average schools and worked their socks off to achieve their goals.

  15. The easy way to distinguish a top candidate with an average one is to ask about the number of publications they have. You would be surprised to find candidates from the rock bottom of british universities publishing in top stohastic analysis journals. On the other hand, I knew someone from Oxford, who failed the FSA exams. What do you say to that?

  16. God, reading this makes me sick, so much BS you could fertilize 50 fields. AG seems to be the biggest BS producer, when he actually starts work he will have a shock, he will be working with inferior university graduates such as myself, who in many cases will be his boss. If you have that attitude in my team you will be an expert in tea and coffee making by the end of your rotation if you dont get the boot. Typical arrogant and immature attitude from someone born with a silver spoon. I can tell you as a hirer and firer that there are not many jobs about for entry level/grad roles, you dont need to go to LSE to realise that.

  17. Micheal: When you said BS, did you mean Black Scholes? lol.
    Also, in the front office, traders could ask you VERY simple questions on say options, which would easily make one feel like a fool for a day or two atleast :)

  18. “someone born with a silver spoon”

    My parents are refugees from Uganda, who were homeless and came here with nothing. Living in the inner city all my life and attending below-average schools, I worked my socks off to get into LSE, and worked my socks off there to get a job at the best investment bank in the world. I deserve every penny of the six figures I’ll be earning by age 22 for being so hard-working, whereas people who didn’t work so hard so went to lower unis struggle to even get on the mortgage ladder.

  19. AG-In that case why talk so much drivel?!

  20. The only immature, pathetic people in this entire thread are those who actually seem to believe that people who went to Oxbridge/LSE must be rich and went to a private school. Staggering levels of ignorance. The majority of LSE students, and 45% of Oxbridge, went to free schools actually.

  21. AG, refugees, are you for real? Did you work ten jobs as well while caring for you sick parents while at the same time develope a cure for cancer? I thnk you are telling a few porkie pies myself. What is all this “I deserve six figures”?. You need to prove yourself first. Really, do any of us “deserve six figures” for what we do? I think we know the answer to that. Maybe given the excellent education you got AG maybe you should go into teaching and give something back to all those other “inner city” kids or at the very least donate your bonous to oliver and the other orphans.

    Oh, and Argument, I’m CFA chartered and hold MSc in Finance so I’m well aware of how options work thankyou.

  22. To a certain extent I have to agree with Flabbergast. However, everyone knows the majority of people that go to Oxbridge go to private or grammer/selective schools. Everyday comphensives don’t have the time or resources to prep people from the age of 12 plus for there interviews nor do they get the extra curricular activities that are avaliable to us who went to the better schools – which are so important in character building. People on here, deep down, know that if they had gone to a crappy school, through no fault of their own they would not have got into a decent uni – without some positive discrimation.

    Fred the Shred Reply
  23. “People on here, deep down, know that if they had gone to a crappy school, through no fault of their own they would not have got into a decent uni – without some positive discrimation.”

    I went to a crappy school. And then LSE. Certainly without positive discrimination. But by having similar/identical grades and academic potential to people from public schools. What on earth are you on about?

  24. @Fred the Shred, what’s your definition of a decent university? Could you enlighten us?

  25. AG-You are just a working class hero

  26. Interesting thread.
    Now, let me tell AG something; I studied engineering at IIT Bombay;
    I have no respect for Oxford engineering students; They standards are so so low, that it is almost unbelievable. LSE is excatly the same. AG, I am sure where you work (if this is a top IB), you WILL for sure find IIT grads; Try challenging them in mathematics; They are gonna trash you.

    All the best!

  27. Niv, if you don’t know what the decent universities are, you are on the wrong job site.

    Fred the Shred Reply
  28. Fred the Shred, I know what a decent university is, but I’m interested in your definition of a decent university. It might be different from mine.

  29. It’s amazing how a story like this, which should spark an interesting debate, somehow always degenerates into immature self-promotion. Why don’t the clever-clogs who profess to have attended world-class institutions actually contribute rather than pontificate over and over about how great they are. In my opinion, and I’m sure most readers, these individuals are spouting the highest order of BS.

  30. AG – if your posts are to be believed then you’ve worked hard and got yourself into a good firm, so well done. Not so well done on the arrogance and unjustified sense of entitlement though I’m afraid. You’ll be working in a meritocracy soon, and LSE attendance does not a superstar make. That attitude will get you nowhere fast. If you want respect – earn it. Don’t spend your time stroking your own ego on an internet message board.

    So, good luck to you sir – but please do take your head out of your ar*e.

    And by the way, GS grad numbers are way down this year, trust me.

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