Hiring Analyst/Associate - Advice

At a large REPE firm and just got the greenlight from my superiors to hire a dedicated Analyst/Associate. Historically hiring in my group has been haphazard / not taken super seriously, which has lead to some deadweight / underperformers. Not looking to do the same for my direct report (and future additional direct reports). Anyone have any advice for someone doing this for the first time? Interested in more senior people's thoughts on how to approach process, how to get a good sense for someone's skills / motivation / work ethic, any other tips / tricks. If it matters, targeting ex-REIB / IS / debt brokerage / buyside candidates, budgeting about $175k-$350k all-in give or take, depending on experience - but willing to stretch for the right candidate. Thanks in advance.

 

I think you’re wise for trying to do diligence upfront. Unfortunately I’m too junior to add insight but I was curious based on your comp ranges what type of shop you’re at. Very much would like to place myself in a position like that so do you mind naming competitor companies that are at the same range of size/pedigree/comp. Info like this would hugely help me figure out my future. Thanks man!

 
Most Helpful

Great question. 

I’m surprised companies in general don’t ask for candidates to submit a recent performance review. While you can gain a lot of info about a candidate from an interview, performance reviews can really help you understand how the candidate has performed at prior or current roles, which is arguably more important than any technical or behavioral question that could be asked.

Anybody can lie and embellish in an interview, but I think it is extremely valuable to read what a prior manager has to say about the type of work they’ve completed, their work style, work ethic, attention to detail, etc. If a prior manager gives them a killer year end review, that is a great sign. If they give them a shitty review, well that is one way to lower the resume stack. 

I find the best way to get to know somebody is to take them out for dinner and drinks. It allows the candidate to be a bit more themself. Personality and fit within a team is arguably most important. You can usually tell by an informal conversation whether or not somebody will be a good addition to the team. Look at their demeanor and how they present themselves, how they talk and their conversational ability, etc.

I am free for dinner and drinks whenever. I also have my resume and performance review on hand. Just hit my DM’s. ;) 

 

Interesting idea about performance reviews. On the flip side, how would it be received if a candidate offered to submit 3 performance reviews as an example of prior work quality?

 

More junior than what you asked for, but for a check ask them about their thoughts on the market today and a deal or two they worked on.

This tells you all you need to know on the technical side in round 1. Can they intelligently discuss a deal, why did they like it, why not, why did the firm move forward or pass and would they do the same.

Seems like that covers what you're missing in terms of deadweight, I'm surprised that's even an issue at that salary level. I've also had here's $100, LTV is x%, rate is x% NOI is $y, is this accretive or dilutive debt. Quick checks to see how they talk about the market and a deal are what seem to be needed.

There are many people with impressive experience who cannot talk about a deal or maybe they didn't prepare, while other backgrounds may surprise you. Not sure what else you can get in a first round because there should be a complex modeling test which weeds out many candidates as well.

Candidly motivations are money, but ask them why they got into real estate - maybe it's from family or xyz. This can give better responses than the standard bs strength/weaknesses etc. Ask where they are from, their experience, why they got into RE, a technical question or two, then open it up to questions. Candidates who care are going to come with a few questions about the team, funding, ask about a deal or two and you vs. ask nothing.

 

I went through what i felt was a great REPE hiring process once and i’ll relay what i think made it so good.

For one, they were very communicative throughout the entire process. The process took a long time too due to hiring pauses, so there were plenty of opportunities to just go dark but they didnt.

They had a very built out modeling test that took a week. This allowed them to see which candidates would really put in weeks worth of work and which ones would just slap something together.

They had me do a couple phone screens but ultimately had one superday with the 4 people on the team (associate, two vps, and the MD of investments). The superday was relaxed and really about getting to know me, what drives me, and couple questions about my case study. Lastly they took me out for drinks to get to know me more. It felt like a genuine process with a healthy mix of evaluating culture and technical fit.

I ended up getting the offer but felt i had to turn it down as my current company offered me an attractive role in NYC where i wanted to be. Long story short - just make it a personal and attractive job/process and you’ll attract top people with top talent.

Having candid conversations about their experience over a beer is going to give you way more insight into what they are capable of than a stuffy office interview where they spew fluffed up resume bullets at you for an hour.

 

Went through this for the first time last year. My biggest advice, is to really weigh behavioral and overall personality in an in person interview moreso than anything else. Especially if it’s an Analyst. Speaking to someone on the phone vs in person can be a night day difference in gauging them as a potential candidate. I couldn’t express it more, than I much rather have an Analyst who is hard worker, motivated, well engaged in learning, and less smart than some lazy, know it all, or whatever, but smart analyst.

 

This sounds right up my alley. I can’t PM because you’re anonymous, but I’d be happy to chat more. I did 2 years in IS and also spent some time with the IB team for a few M&A assignments. I’m now at a family office writing equity checks across all asset classes with some direct investment as well.

 

I'm not a fan of the big extensive take home modeling tests.  Too much opportunity to cheat / google things / get outside help.  When I used to be in charge of hiring IS analysts for a top team/office, I'd give a pretty quick and simple test that could be done in ~30 minutes on pen and paper with a calculator and then ask them to discuss it with me (whats the IRR and levered IRR and what do they they indicate about the general profile of the deal? whats the year 2 DSCR and debt yield and why do these metrics matter? Whats the CoC and equity multiple and why are these metrics useful?) and then spend the rest of the interview focused on personality/fit.  Even if your firm uses some overly bullshit complex 25 tab model, if they're smart enough to do a quick and dirty model and intelligently discuss it on the spot then they can learn how to use your model.  You also don't have to waste 20+ candidates time spending all week doing a take home test for a <5% shot at the job.

 

Another thing I've seen done that isn't time consuming but quickly vets technical skills is to simply hand them a T12 with a few strange aspects to it and ask for their thoughts and if anything stands out.  For example if its a multifamily interview, print out a T12 but make the taxes/unit or insurance/unit abnormally high, and have the utility reimbursement % very low, and throw in a few months where occupancy dropped and capex/repairs spiked, and see if they can call everything out and discuss likely reasons for it.

 

That's reality though, give them 2-3 hours for a test and have them send it back to you. They will have access to all those tools on the job, never got that thought process.

You give them a test that takes 1.5 hours for a competent person, 30 mins to review/check and make the test 2 hours. Even if people cheat, the one's that don't know what they're doing will not pass.

 

That's reality though, give them 2-3 hours for a test and have them send it back to you. They will have access to all those tools on the job, never got that thought process.

You give them a test that takes 1.5 hours for a competent person, 30 mins to review/check and make the test 2 hours. Even if people cheat, the one's that don't know what they're doing will not pass.

Up to you.  I'd just prefer someone with inherent knowledge over someone who's great at asking chatgpt everything they don't know.  I also know of somebody who had their older brother do a take home modeling test for them (they ended up getting the job and getting fired a year later).

 

At my shop Associate hires are like 75% former IBankers and maybe 25% people who come directly from competitors. 

I think we've had good results taking people from well known investment banks who have put in at least two years at said firm. You know they'll grind and typically are good at figuring stuff out without needing massive handholding.  

 

Would your firm hire at an Eastdil or is Eastdil still far less advantageous than having IB experience?

 

Jesus man you're asking every damn person on the forum this same question, yes, Eastdil is a phenomenal sell-side platform to come from. Especially if you're doing portfolio sale / recaps. I don't think there is any firm out there that WOULDN'T hire an Analyst/Associate from Eastdil. 

Now stop asking and go get after it lol.  

 

What are you looking for in a candidate? What made the "underperformers" underperformers in your mind?

What things should your candidate be able to do? Are you expecting them to work IB hours? Does culture matter?

Somethings to discuss in an interview. Also maybe ask them how they would prioritize things and see what falls through the cracks in a theoretical situation.

You could also try teaching them something they don't know and see how they learn

 

I’ve hired many analysts during my time, here’s my thoughts:

1. Modeling test: given your pay scale and target of former IBers, your best candidates will likely know how to model, and model well (but maybe not real estate specific modeling). There’s some good advice on here of keeping it not too complicated but also time bound. If you want to test something more advanced make it a bonus question that also has to be completed in the same timeframe. When I give 2-3 hours I have definitely seen people use templates, but I have yet to suss out anyone who outright cheated and had outside help (but had that if I gave more than say, 4 hours). I give the modeling test after the initial touchpoint with me so I can screen out people without the skill and/or blame the modeling test if the person is a psycho (you’ll have at least 1 in every search, trust me). Definitely make it a real estate specific test, and particularly in your asset class if you specialize, to test if they have specific asset type knowledge vs. just knowing how to model. Someone above noted giving a T12 during an in person interview with some things changed, I like that approach to confirm their knowledge is legit, I am going to start doing that myself.
2. # people to interview: if you are doing the screening interviews (don’t do them in person), don’t interview everyone and their brother. Print out the resumes you like and force yourself to rank order them- then set a cut off (I do 10-12 people absolute max). Then rank order whomever remains every round thereafter. People only get to in-person interviews with me / my team if they have the requisite skillset to do the job. Then it’s about fit - both in our culture and with their career goals. If you churn analysts every couple years it’s less about the latter, but I do like to hire people I think could stick around, grow in their role, and that me and my team want to work with. I’ve turned down candidates that had the skillset and I was okay with but the rest of the team thought was annoying. You’re all going to spend a ton of time together.
3. References: nobody ever checks these but they should. You don’t need to ask the candidate for them, but ideally you talk to someone who has worked with the person in the past (I avoid current employer unless it’s an incredibly close friend in the industry and the candidate is making a jump for a reason: IB->REPE, REIT->REPE, generalist->specialist, re-location for an obvious reason like coming home or an SO). You’d be surprised what you can learn, both positive and negative. Saved me from hiring a dud in the past as well as confirmed all my best hires were the right choice.
4. Hiring Overqualified People: a lot of people are on the job market right now, the market sucks for non-Analysts. Sounds like you have a very appealing job available. I recommend sticking within your parameters of what you are looking for - you will have a ton of VPs, AVPs, Senior Associates saying they would take the job, particularly since the pay is great relative to many firms. Their pitch will be “well you can have someone of better quality and experience, don’t you want that?” The answer is no, unless they had title inflation at a smaller shop (e.g. were made Senior Associate at a small syndicator after like 2 years). That person will just leave when the job market comes back in a year, and you’re back to square one. It also inhibits the growth of your other analysts, as well as that person will likely demand a promotion faster than you can provide. It’s not good for anyone, other than they are in dire need of a paycheck.

5. Relocations: I generally avoid for junior roles, there’s ample people locally and then pay scale can be screwy going from one MSA to another. That said, you’re in NYC so it’s a pay bump for anyone (or lateral from SF or certain LA shops - but you shouldn’t have to look cross country) so less of an issue in your case. I’d just say find a reason someone wants to relocate other than just the job - family is there, went to school there,  SO is going to grad school there/new job there, etc. Lowers the chances they are just using the job as a counter for current place of employment. Check the area code on their cell # if you don’t have any other clues while reviewing resumes.

 

Saepe qui nisi veritatis et laborum laborum quia. Alias est et non sed sed.

Impedit voluptatem quia deserunt omnis numquam neque. Facilis ipsum facilis vero doloremque enim qui. Et perferendis labore ullam ipsum facere corrupti a dolor. Similique nostrum sed quam. Suscipit voluptatem impedit quae blanditiis.

Rerum cupiditate unde ex veniam aperiam. Modi debitis blanditiis atque corporis odio. Iure aspernatur sed ab enim odit qui.

Cupiditate unde est eum nihil dolor ullam et. Necessitatibus ex recusandae quam mollitia repellendus ut placeat labore. Vel voluptas quaerat deserunt non.

 

Reiciendis cupiditate fugiat itaque cupiditate eaque hic aliquid. Nisi et voluptatem dolorum aliquam.

Repellat ut autem necessitatibus quaerat laborum unde non. Sunt sunt qui quas nam fugit.

Ut voluptas omnis voluptatem. Id et aut maiores veniam voluptatem qui modi. Consectetur quos beatae quos dolores. Quas adipisci aut fugit ducimus blanditiis.

Dignissimos aliquam sint hic voluptatem tenetur ratione. Ut quo enim beatae nihil sit. Illum a beatae voluptatem optio aut. Similique tempora cupiditate facere error amet. Ut sint enim temporibus ullam at eum ut.

 

Quod rerum et earum distinctio id. Nihil est consequuntur quidem nostrum placeat assumenda. Consectetur aut architecto et qui saepe iusto unde. Non quo molestias quod assumenda quia. Est nulla dolores pariatur natus. Itaque non consectetur et error.

Ut distinctio dolorum iure officiis voluptate ad. Quis cum voluptas ut consequatur. Ad optio ipsa similique ut quaerat consequuntur.

Deserunt ea doloremque possimus quas nam. Veritatis doloribus esse eos necessitatibus. Animi voluptas ut molestias facilis et ea cum qui. Tenetur praesentium omnis beatae asperiores non accusantium.

Est assumenda cum non nihil. Voluptatem distinctio dolores assumenda qui. Aut rerum quis illum mollitia voluptas vero officia dolores. Dolor fuga itaque qui ea laborum.

Career Advancement Opportunities

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners New 98.9%
  • Lazard Freres 01 98.3%
  • Harris Williams & Co. 24 97.7%
  • Goldman Sachs 16 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 19 99.4%
  • Lazard Freres 06 98.9%
  • JPMorgan Chase 09 98.3%
  • William Blair 03 97.7%
  • Morgan Stanley 04 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.9%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners 18 98.3%
  • Goldman Sachs 16 97.7%
  • Moelis & Company 05 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (22) $375
  • Associates (94) $260
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (14) $181
  • Intern/Summer Associate (33) $170
  • 2nd Year Analyst (69) $168
  • 1st Year Analyst (207) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (151) $101
notes
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”

Leaderboard

1
redever's picture
redever
99.2
2
Betsy Massar's picture
Betsy Massar
99.0
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
99.0
4
BankonBanking's picture
BankonBanking
99.0
5
GameTheory's picture
GameTheory
98.9
6
dosk17's picture
dosk17
98.9
7
kanon's picture
kanon
98.9
8
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
98.9
9
Linda Abraham's picture
Linda Abraham
98.8
10
bolo up's picture
bolo up
98.8
success
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”