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mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from January 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

You get calls from headhunters all the time, often kissing your ass. But what do they really think of investment bankers? If you believe London headhunter Fred Bayer, not much at all. Bayer breaks investment banking candidates into four categories, and only one of the categories is the least bit complimentary. It's a funny article (at least I thought so) for which Bayer took an immediate skewering in the comments.

His four categories of investment banking candidates are The Best and Rare Ones (of which he says there are only two in all of London - and he's already placed them), The Ones Whose "Jobs We Could Do", The Nice but Rubbish Ones, and The Nauseatingly Arrogant Ones. It makes you wonder if all, or most, or even some headhunters secretly hold his dim view of bankers while pimping them as the greatest thing since sliced bread to the various firms on the Street.

Even though he got crushed in the Comments, at least one person (probably another headhunter) agreed with him, and pointed out a flaw we've seen over and over here at WSO, so if there's one thing you take away from this post, let it be this. Don't be this guy:

he forgot to mention the ones who forge their cv's and memorize the main questions , but when you get them in a unexpected question, they just ga-ga-ga, ..heeee-,, oh , very annoying

Thought you guys might get a kick out the article. Just goes to show you, you never know what someone is thinking even when they're telling you how great you are.

Have a great weekend, guys.

Comments (42)

  • leveredarb's picture

    hes a headhunter and dares to criticize the legions of high finance? Imbecile!

  • LLcoolJ's picture

    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    Gekko21's picture

    LLcoolJ:
    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

    So I suppose that Hollywood talent agents are just glorified HR staff as well? Afer all, they suck up to clients and might be considered "glorified HR staff." If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    "Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    I feel like anyone that comes in contact with a large amount of people comes away with a poor view of them. Look at anyone who works in public service or customer relations. This guy is really no different. Just like flight attendants complain about their passengers being rude, obnoxious etc. so do people like this.

    I don't really have an opinion on his comments in particular...just a thought.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • mxc's picture

    Well, if he only knew what bankers think of headhunters...

  • In reply to Gekko21
    LLcoolJ's picture

    Gekko21:
    LLcoolJ:
    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

    So I suppose that Hollywood talent agents are just glorified HR staff as well? Afer all, they suck up to clients and might be considered "glorified HR staff." If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    happypantsmcgee's picture

    LLcoolJ:
    Gekko21:
    LLcoolJ:
    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

    So I suppose that Hollywood talent agents are just glorified HR staff as well? Afer all, they suck up to clients and might be considered "glorified HR staff." If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    No one mentioned Ari Gold and I think Gekko's analogy is pretty valid

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    swagon's picture

    LLcoolJ:
    Gekko21:
    LLcoolJ:
    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

    So I suppose that Hollywood talent agents are just glorified HR staff as well? Afer all, they suck up to clients and might be considered "glorified HR staff." If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    a huge joke, or a huge party?

    I agree with your ari comment, but vince chase is a real actor who happens to star in a show about himself, so the show is actually 90% real.

  • In reply to Gekko21
    derivstrading's picture

    Gekko21:

    If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    Who needs who more? Without headhunters people would still get jobs at the buyside, without the 'talent' headhunters would have nothing.

  • In reply to derivstrading
    happypantsmcgee's picture

    derivstrading:
    Gekko21:

    If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    Who needs who more? Without headhunters people would still get jobs at the buyside, without the 'talent' headhunters would have nothing.

    If it was equally easy to get a job on the buyside without a headhunter as it is with one, I highly doubt there would be quite the market for them that there is currently.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to swagon
    Soul_Reaper's picture

    swagon:
    LLcoolJ:
    Gekko21:
    LLcoolJ:
    who cares, they are headhunters. glorified HR staff. just like HR staff the only power they get is from talking shit about the candidates they are forced to suck-up too. let them have their cute little article.

    So I suppose that Hollywood talent agents are just glorified HR staff as well? Afer all, they suck up to clients and might be considered "glorified HR staff." If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    a huge joke, or a huge party?

    I agree with your ari comment, but vince chase is a real actor who happens to star in a show about himself, so the show is actually 90% real.

    Not sure if you are being serious or not but just in case, i think you mean Vince Chase is played by Adrian Grenier and stars in a show based off of Mark Wahlberg who is executive producer of the show.

    "Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson serve as the show's executive producers, and its premise is loosely based on Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming film star"

    "Do whatever it takes to keep the legend of Wall Street as it was truly intended live on. When you think back on investment banking of the early 21st century, remember the heat—remember the passion. But mostly, remember the titans. " - LSO

  • GoodBread's picture

    This is really about middle office jobs. I doubt anyone who could do well at a FO job would ever choose to be a headhunter.

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    Aggravate's picture

    LLcoolJ:

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    Say what you will about the nature of the work or the industry as a whole, but Ari Gold is modeled after Ari Emanuel (Rahm's brother) who has 'joked' his way to being worth about 35 million.

  • In reply to happypantsmcgee
    alexpasch's picture

    happypantsmcgee:
    derivstrading:
    Gekko21:

    If they are so weak why does every investment banker look forward/need their calls in order to get over to the buyside.

    I really don't have an opinon, I'm just stating some simple truths and asking a few questions.

    Who needs who more? Without headhunters people would still get jobs at the buyside, without the 'talent' headhunters would have nothing.

    If it was equally easy to get a job on the buyside without a headhunter as it is with one, I highly doubt there would be quite the market for them that there is currently.

    Umm..the market is created by the firms looking for talent, not by the talent looking for jobs. Firms think headhunters help them find the best talent and are worth their fee (in my view, headhunters don't do shit and actually hurt the process; but they are so firmly entrenched and the mindless analysts just wait for their calls instead of being proactive, that it's a lost cause).

    Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

  • NataliaR's picture

    love it. has anyone here actually have a head-hunter?
    if we were so useless, why would anyone pay us a third of what you earn for just setting up a couple of interviews and sending some emails ... I don't want to prove anything, just quite surprised that no one here has a normal hh, who has been with you throught the years and is one of your important sources of market info

  • In reply to NataliaR
    techfit's picture

    NataliaR:
    love it. has anyone here actually have a head-hunter?
    if we were so useless, why would anyone pay us a third of what you earn for just setting up a couple of interviews and sending some emails ... I don't want to prove anything, just quite surprised that no one here has a normal hh, who has been with you throught the years and is one of your important sources of market info

    It sounds like someone went to a non target..

    Veritas

  • In reply to GoodBread
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    GoodBread:
    This is really about middle office jobs. I doubt anyone who could do well at a FO job would ever choose to be a headhunter.

    Bro, I think you missed it completely. This isn't about investment bankers becoming headhunters. It's about what headhunters really think about the investment bankers they help place at new firms.

  • In reply to NataliaR
    CaptK's picture

    NataliaR:
    love it. has anyone here actually have a head-hunter?
    if we were so useless, why would anyone pay us a third of what you earn for just setting up a couple of interviews and sending some emails ... I don't want to prove anything, just quite surprised that no one here has a normal hh, who has been with you throught the years and is one of your important sources of market info

    I've actually got great relationships with a couple headhunters that I began when I was in banking. They showed me some great opportunities then, and still continue to call me with new stuff even now. They're also great friends to have so I can keep the pulse of market comp and make sure I'm getting paid well. Really nothing negative from me to say from headhunters, in fact, they've been really helpful overall.

    To all the monkeys - don't treat your headhunter as a "transactional" relationship. Take some time to get to know them and forge a friendship that lasts after they've placed you - it's worth it to be top of mind when the next great gig comes across their desk. It's a pretty good feeling to get to the point where you don't have to proactively network like crazy (though you still should) and people are calling you with job opportunities.

    - Capt K -
    "Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

  • GutShot's picture

    Good hunters are generally connected like crazy. Don't mess with them.

  • CapToed's picture

    No real comment regarding his opinion on bankers - nothing we haven't heard before. Just wanted to note that he calls himself a "recruitment consultant".

  • TNA's picture

    Oh no, someone called out investment banking, let's rally the troops. It is a simple job that pays a lot and people think you are important. Why people cannot come to grips with this is beyond me. Headhunters are responsible for matching people with jobs. If they rec crappy candidates they lose their job. They must be both good at sales and good at judging people. Calling them morons is simply a reaction because your feelings are hurt.

  • In reply to Edmundo Braverman
    GoodBread's picture

    Edmundo Braverman:
    GoodBread:
    This is really about middle office jobs. I doubt anyone who could do well at a FO job would ever choose to be a headhunter.

    Bro, I think you missed it completely. This isn't about investment bankers becoming headhunters. It's about what headhunters really think about the investment bankers they help place at new firms.

    No, I know. But this guy is mostly hating on middle-office people who do product control. Not that headhunters don't hate some of the douchebags they place, but if this guy were placing people into PM roles at hedge funds, he would probably secretly wish he were the guy getting placed.

  • In reply to happypantsmcgee
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    happypantsmcgee:

    If it was equally easy to get a job on the buyside without a headhunter as it is with one, I highly doubt there would be quite the market for them that there is currently.

    Headhunters fill a necessary service, but in an industry like this, people usually have a lot of professional connections in the first place. Name a major firm or hedge fund on the street and I can probably find someone at the VP or higher level I've worked with there. Most people in industry for three or four years can do the same.

    I'm surprised there's so many of them in I-Banking. Other fields, I could understand, but this is a comparatively small industry, geographically concentrated, with relatively high turnover. People- both managers and employees- have huge networks and it's a surprise that firms would pay $50K to find a potential candidate when they've got plenty of good ones on their rolodex as it stands.

    No, I know. But this guy is mostly hating on middle-office people who do product control. Not that headhunters don't hate some of the douchebags they place, but if this guy were placing people into PM roles at hedge funds, he would probably secretly wish he were the guy getting placed.

    Hehe, not really. I think it's kinda like being the real estate agent for a $20 million home. Maybe you're jealous of the guy buying the home, but given a 6% commission, you're in the same tax bracket.

    I'm pretty sure that most headhunters are billing a whole lot more per year than the average person they place gets in salary.

  • GoodBread's picture

    I wasn't trying to attack the fundamental point of the article. Just saying that condescension would be mighty out of place if he were placing PMs or prop traders. Not that condescension ever has a place, but if I were to move to a headhunting firm to place some poor BO schmucks, I'd feel the same way precisely because I work in the BO and know how much it sucks. And the headhunters making the same amount as decently successful PMs on the buyside could probably fit in a very small room. Who cares about the tax bracket? Considering the top rate is for people making more than 400k give or take, tax brackets are completely irrelevant at the upper end of the market.

    It's less about the money than what the guy does. If I had to choose between being a headhunter or product control, I'd probably pick product control but it's not that clear cut. PM, trader, research analyst..? That's a whole different story.

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    Argonaut's picture

    LLcoolJ:

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    In what way is it a joke?

    More is good, all is better

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    bfin's picture

    LLcoolJ:

    ari gold is a fictional character. the entire entertainment industry is a huge joke.

    What makes ari gold a fictional character? have you met everyone that works in the entertainment industry and know what they do, and you can do that in your sleep?

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

  • Clarkey's picture

    Eddy,

    That entire site is a vehicle for the biggest idiots in London to spout utter bollocks. The editor is a real douche bag and constantly plugs useless articles.

  • LLcoolJ's picture

    if you think jersey shore or kim kardashian isn't a joke then good luck to you my friends. i hope you find a nice job researching what The Situation's favorite Ed Hardy T-shirt is, because if he doesn't get the right one he might throw a tantrum and that would really piss off your boss.

  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    Argonaut's picture

    LLcoolJ:
    if you think jersey shore or kim kardashian isn't a joke then good luck to you my friends. i hope you find a nice job researching what The Situation's favorite Ed Hardy T-shirt is, because if he doesn't get the right one he might throw a tantrum and that would really piss off your boss.

    I watched a couple of episodes of jersey shore one evening. The ones where Snooki declares herself a princess of Poughkeepsie, and another one where they had to work retail and one of the girls was indignant - indignant! that she, a Bartender, had to work retail. Oh. Em. Fucking. Gee. I don't think a single person there has a college degree, not even associates from BFE community college!
    But you know what, the show is not meant for the intellectuals, it is meant to give hope to the mediocre out there and to draw them in, hypnotize them, and get them to spend the money they don't have. When low middle class person sees a family of elite wasps buying a summer home in saint tropeze, or flying their private jet to zermatt for a weekend, they are not spurred to buy. They realize the divide, and as a matter of fact may even be averse to buying whatever the boojie people are buying, since they now associate having that item with the lifestyle they could never have. On the other hand when Snookie buys herself $200 worth of MAC make-up (or whatever she is using), some girl at home , earning $800 a month, now has a way to justify buying $100 of it on her already maxed out credit card. And a couple of guys at a community college now have the justification to spend their student loan money on a spring break trip to south beach and strippers, because that's what situation did, and he isn't smart enough to go to college. Except that jersey shore cast's expenses are comped by someone else.

    Are you fucking kidding me, a joke? It's brilliant, I say, brilliant!!! Can you imagine the advertising revenue the channel is raking in?

    More is good, all is better

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    Eric Stratton's picture

    IlliniProgrammer:
    I'm pretty sure that most headhunters are billing a whole lot more per year than the average person they place gets in salary.

    I would hope a headhunter with ~15-20+ years of experience makes more than a 23-24 year old.

    ---------------------
    "Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America."

  • HarvardOrBust's picture

    A headhunter with around 3-5 years experience could pull 200k working maybe 60 hours a week. Although this is mainly with higher tier headhunters, that's not a bad pull.

  • rafiki's picture

    I don't know if this is what the thread is on now, but to back up Argonaut's point, there was a new story about MTV not long ago explaining how Jersey Shore almost single handedly made MTV relevant in pop culture again.

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

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    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to Argonaut
    byucko's picture
  • watersign's picture

    alpha currency trader wanna-be

  • larasing's picture
  • In reply to LLcoolJ
    larasing's picture