Response to "My Private Equity Recruiting Process"

Mod Note (Andy): This comment by @Northsider was posted in direct response to @Candor's post "My Private Equity Recruiting Process"

Having been through PE recruiting on both sides of the table now, I have a few reactions:

1. I heartily disagree with the idea that having a closed deal at all differentiates you as a candidate - especially the suggestion that you're better off postponing recruiting if you haven't announced a deal by recruiting season. If you feel unprepared for the process, that's one thing; and, insofar as navigating a deal from start-to-finish buttresses your understanding, I wouldn't contest that the experience is valuable. That said, being able to list the names of the parties involved because it's announced offers you no edge, ipso facto.

After interviewing dozens of candidates and debriefing with others on still more dozens, I can report that I've never once heard an interviewer credit a candidate for having completed a transaction. You're 7 months on the job: the lion's share of candidates (even from top groups) haven't had the opportunity to close a deal, and for many I interviewed, the deals they had announced weren't the ones in which they were most involved (due to double-staffing) or that were best to discuss in an interview setting. Literally the only time I heard deal experience mentioned by an interviewer was an occurrence in which a candidate had been staffed on a transaction involving one of our portfolio companies.

NorthSider's Semi-Regular, Curated Linkwrap - November 2014

All too often lately, it seems, I am behind on replying to private messages. Though it is my sincerest intention to follow up on each item in my backlog, there is one question I receive more than all others: Which newspapers, blogs, periodicals, books, editorialists, academics, etc. do you follow?

As such, opportunism beckons. To the end of clearing a fair portion of my PM inventory, I have decided to initiate a semi-regular, curated linkwrap of writing on which I've been musing.

Just how regular these posts will be, I cannot say. But I will do my very best to offer content that is thematically manifold, disputatious, and discerning. Often, I will point to multiple articles offering variant views on a singular topic; always, the material will be interdisciplinary and perhaps a bit pedantic.

I do count on seeing you back here. And, as ever, I hope to galvanize your deepest animosity, which you are free - nay, encouraged - to expel in the comments.


Does herd mentality play a role in the popularity of banking?

Mod note (Andy): WSO top comments - this one is from the post . Is the competition for banking artificially inflated? Click here to see more top rated comments

It's hard to provide an intelligible answer to a question as vacuous as "is competition **artificially** inflated". What could possibly be the meaning of "artificial" in this context? What is a "natural" level of competitiveness, if not the level that organically emerges?

And then your follow up questions are so exaggerated that they're unanswerable. "Is banking truly the best thing you can do?", "Can someone not go the banking route and still do 'as great'?" - how do you address questions like that? The best thing? Is there such a thing? How can this possibly be appraised?

That said, I'll try to address the crux of your musings here: does herd mentality play a role in the popularity of banking?

Why You Should Reject that Start-Up Job

I've always considered myself entrepreneurial at heart. Even since I've started my work in IB, I have continued to work on developing a few "back pocket" ideas that I'm excited about. Indeed, ever since I can remember, I have wanted to start my own business, not because I hope to be the next Zuckerberg, but because I believe the ability to dictate your own work is more rewarding than any other employment experience out there. It remains my ultimate career goal, and with any luck, I will make it happen some day.

That said, I have to say that the rising fad of "start-ups" in what has been - arguably - a VC bubble (read more) has started to trigger my inner skeptic. Don't get me wrong: I think it's great that we are increasingly encouraging young people to take career risks and try to create value through entrepreneurship. But I couldn't help but be suspicious that there were a fair number of people getting the short end of the "start-up" stick, if for no reason other than the fact that the few friends I had that went to work for early- to mid-stage start-ups left their corporate jobs filled with enthusiasm and are now silently trying to break their way back into what we all know collectively as the machine of corporate America.

Basic Questions About PE Recruiting Answered

1. When does PE recruiting cycle start?
Varies from year to year, but for the last 3 cycles, the main process has either run during March / April of your 1st year (2012 and 2014 Associate classes) or January / February of your 2nd year (2013 Associate class)

2. When does it end?
Most funds have completed recruiting 2-3 weeks after the process starts

3. If you are in a good group, should you be proactive in reaching out to headhunters, or will they find you? How can you maximize your chances of getting interviews?
Generally, top groups will be contacted by headhunters and you can mostly sit back and wait for emails to come to you. If you notice any glaring omissions, obviously reach out

IB Background Checks: What You Need to Know

It's that time of year again: for the incoming class of summer analysts, many of you are going through the (depending on what you've been doing the last semester or so) potentially nerve-wracking process of background checks. And judging by the slew of recent posts, there are a fair number losing sleep over background checks.

With that in mind, let's just clear everything up: the majority of the larger IBs (both boutique and BB) use third party organizations to conduct background checks. Typically, you provide the bank a list of references and contact information, which will then be independently verified via telephone by the third party organization.

So how do these phone calls work?

The average call goes as follows:

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