Bloomberg is having a 'moment'. Ever since news broke last week that its journalists were able to monitor bankers' access to Bloomberg terminals as a source of information, Bloomberg itself has become the story. Since then a light has been shone on what working at Bloomberg entails. All we can say is - its good news if you want to stalk your colleagues, but don't spend too much time in the washroom...
Goldman Sachs is well known for conducting round upon round upon round of interviews before it hires anyone. Bloomberg does much the same.
"I had eight different interviews," said one former Bloomberg journalist."There was one with my bureau chef and one with his boss. There was one with my team leader in London, then with a team leader in Dubai. There was one with another bureau chief in Hong Kong, and one with his boss in New York, and some others with their colleagues."
Bloomberg didn't immediately respond to a request to comment on its recruitment process. However, the company fully admits to being a little quirky. Bloomberg's own website says: "At Bloomberg, we recruit differently than most companies. We want to know the real you, not just facts on a paper."
Getting a journalism job at Bloomberg doesn't just entail endless interviews. You'll also need to complete a three hour test, covering everything from key facts like working out the return on equity on a stock, to editing and writing headlines. You can see some sample questions from this test by clicking here.
The journalist we spoke to said it took a long time before Bloomberg made the decision to hire him. In some cases, he said it can take up to a year before Bloomberg decides to whether to recruit someone or not. Another journalist had seven interviews and was then rejected on the basis of a mistake on their CV.
According to the Financial Times, Bloomberg has a policy of not allowing departing staff to return and work there again.
In 2000 Bloomberg held a notorious Christmas party in London based around the theme of Seven Deadly Sins. This seems to have been replaced with a lavish summer party instead. "Bloomberg doesn't have a Christmas party, but it has a great summer party," said an ex-journalist. "They rent out a country estate and there are merry-go-rounds for kids and a disco," he added.
Bloomberg takes the concept of Big Brother to a new level. The New York Observer says all Bloomberg employees can see what their colleagues are doing at all times. Quartz explains how this works: "Employees can look up—using the
<FON> function on their terminals—the last time anyone scanned into or out of a Bloomberg office, which they use to keep legitimate tabs on coworkers and, more voyeuristically, to track their executives on business trips."
Last January, Gawker published a strange handwritten letter, purportedly written by a Bloomberg employee who'd taken to pen and ink for fear of being traced online. Among other things, it accused Bloomberg of deliberately turning off elevators to prevent people leaving for lunch and deliberately providing an insufficient number of toilets to discourage people from spending too much time in the washroom.
The Gawker letter also suggested that senior staff at Bloomberg are guilty of sending interns out for Starbucks venti lattes and shouting in the face of juniors so that they cry. In this sense, working for Bloomberg sounds very similar to working for a bank.