Question for you folks..when having an Analyst onboard, how do you differentiate between training vs constant hand holding? Is there a certain timeline of when they have been there? Is it just expected that an Analyst will always need coddling?
I ask because I see two different mindsets here that sort of contradict one another on this site. Some of this expectation that an Analyst comes in is this modeling guru, know this and that and there's the other side which states "they are an Analyst they are expected to know nothing".
We are about to hire an Analyst so just want to prepare myself to be the best mentor.
You're hiring someone and during the process typically analysts have to take a modeling test. There's no "right" answer to a modeling test, but you see if they are competent and have some pre-existing skills. That said, they are more than likely not going to have the best assumptions (that just comes with time and reps on deals) and they are probably going to skip over a step or not have the best attention to detail when it comes to your specific modeling template. It's not that analysts are completely clueless about what to do, otherwise you wouldn't have hired them...but they make mistakes and its on the associates/VPs to point out what they missed and how to fix it.
The way that I was brought up as an analyst and the way I treat analysts now is this: the first time going through a process do it in front of them and explain what you are doing so they can take notes and ask questions. This could be anything from proforma building, market research, etc.. From there we let them take a crack at the next one that needs done and make sure they are comfortable coming in and asking questions while they try it out. We give them space to fail and learn but never too far away if they need the help. Once they are done we look it over and provide feedback in a neutral manner and just tell them how to fix it and to resend it. Eventually they are going to start looking out for those specific mistakes and correct it themselves and with enough reps they will know what to look for, and how to fix it if something is wrong.
This works for us, but everyone is different and the same techniques used to help our analysts are probably not 100% universal. There's no set time limit on how fast they should pick it up (granted it shouldn't be like 6 months straight of making the exact same mistakes). This might sound weird, but it's very similar to parenting right? There's a ton of ways to do it and you could be the aloof "sink or swim" parent or the helicopter parent that makes it hard for growth and learning through mistakes. Just don't traumatize your "kid" and you'll be considered a good mentor to them.
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