AMA: I do OCR for a BB

GoingToBeAnMD's picture
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I am a VP at a BB in a BO role. In addition to my daily duties, I'm also assigned to HR to work with the summer analyst program. Last year I had 3 SAs working for me and this year I've also been assigned to some OCR activities. I'll remain a little vague for my own privacy, but let's just say that this recruiting season I've been involved with a career fair and another recruiting night event (think of like case competitions and things like that).

I'm open to keeping this as an AMA and will reply as time allows. Here's some things I'll pass on:

1 - When you rep at a career fair, HR only wants you to send them the best resumes.

So, most of the time your resume is going to end up in the trash. The resumes that I held onto (and requested interviews for) were the ones who presented themselves well, showed enthusiasm for my company and were well-spoken in their replies. Don't just jump into introducing yourself; say hello, ask about my day, thank the reps for coming out to visit your school. This type of "soft" approach goes a long way towards me remembering you and writing a positive note about you.

2 - At most large companies, recruiting is a nightmare.

It's super hard to co-ordinate people's schedules and make sure that interviews are carried out in time to fill positions. So, when I ask you to send in your resume do it right away! I had to turn down at least 3 candidates this year because they took 5 days after a career fair to send me their resume - my deadline was 2 days after the event. One of them told me that they had to revise their resume before sending it to me - you're at a career fair, you should have a copy ready to go, otherwise you're wasting your time.

3 - Be on LinkedIn.

Yes, I know this may sound basic to some of you, but there's still plenty of students out there that are not on LI and you're missing out. Most recruiters that I know live and die by LI and I am also 10x more likely to reply to your LI message than via my corporate email.

4 - Don't lose hope.

Yes, not everyone will get an SA position but there's always full-time after your senior year, there's always another position down the road in your career. Just because I can't pick you today doesn't mean that we won't cross paths again. It's a small world out there and job postings are coming up every day. Make the best impression you can and stay in contact.

Comments (16)

Feb 27, 2019

Hi GoingToBeAnMD,

Thanks for the AMA. Interesting to hear you say "HR only wants you to send them the best resumes", since I've always been under the impression that HR had little say in hiring evaluations. This brings me to wonder, what type of people work at BB HR, who has more of a say (bankers v. HR), and how do they screen?

Additionally, would you say the Linkedin > email response habit is a prevalent trend now? Always had been the opposite, at least in my experience. Maybe it's changing as (relatively) younger folks start making VPs?

Last of all, would you mind sharing a story or two about the most memorable and/or worst performing candidates you've encountered?

Thanks,

    • 1
Feb 28, 2019
SkoHawks:

Thanks for the AMA. Interesting to hear you say "HR only wants you to send them the best resumes", since I've always been under the impression that HR had little say in hiring evaluations. This brings me to wonder, what type of people work at BB HR, who has more of a say (bankers v. HR), and how do they screen?

Just so you know, I'm not in HR. So, in that sense, HR does have little say because I'm still the initial filter for them. Putting some numbers around it, at the last career fair, I collected close to 200 resumes and I asked HR to call in 12 (or so) for interviews, the rest were trashed and never even seen by HR. It can also be that we find a good candidate on our own and we can direct HR to start the process with them. In both of those cases, HR is more like a "facilitator" than anything else.

SkoHawks:

Additionally, would you say the Linkedin > email response habit is a prevalent trend now? Always had been the opposite, at least in my experience. Maybe it's changing as (relatively) younger folks start making VPs?

I should have made that portion clearer. I was referring to casual messages or ways to keep in touch with someone. The formal invitations to interview may still be traditional phone/email. For example, for the case competition night, a student may post a pic of their display board or their paper and send it to me on LI. I'm much more likely to respond to that than I am a message in my, already-crowded, corporate email.

SkoHawks:

Last of all, would you mind sharing a story or two about the most memorable and/or worst performing candidates you've encountered?

I really don't want to embarrass anyone or give away too much for my privacy. But there have been times when they completely blow their shot at an interview or superday. I get it, its a long, stressful day for you. But we took the time to fly you in, you're dressed your best, now its time for you to perform. I've seen people completely break down and just not do well in the worst ways (think things like blanking out, crying, etc) Basically, the bad has been bad.

Also, bad email etiquette will never get you far. Be polite, make small talk, try to make friends. I will always add extra points for good stuff like that and bad emails will never get a reply.

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Feb 28, 2019

Thanks for the insight. I should've worded it better - my last question was meant to ask about how students at career fair can make good enough of an impression to become one of those 12/200+ resumes. You mentioned obviously to be well mannered, but what else is there to it when hundreds of kids walk up to you with their best faces on, one after one after one...

The email etiquette part is interesting too. I've consistently heard conflicting things between "get to the point, 4 sentences max!" vs. your perspective (in terms of cold calling to seek an informational interview).

    • 1
Feb 28, 2019

What do you do if someone starts talking to you about moving to the front office from the back office?

i.e. I was in a coverage group in a BB and remember socially unaware ugrads asking me if it's hard to move to the M&A group or to the trading desk (this was in 2010 so trading wasn't obliterated yet).

    • 2
Feb 28, 2019

This is a really good question. Oftentimes people start in BO with the intent to move to MO or FO. If they like that they do then that's fine.

But how do you as an initial screener respond to / treat a candidate that has obvious initial intent to move?

And from a candidates perspective, should they be coy about it and not mention it? Upfront and straightforward? Obviously let's assume the kid isn't a complete idiot and talks down to BO, just has a preference for work that is more often coordinated with MO or FO.

    • 1
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Feb 28, 2019

Im on a middle office team and pretty junior so I do a lot of recruiting. If this is a campus info session or an underclass recruiting event and we are just talking about my firm I am not as offended and will give honest advice. I mean I want to go to the front office one day too. If I'm interviewing you for my team its an automatic ding. You should know better than tell me you already don't really want the job I'm considering you for.

This is where @GoingToBeAnMD is totally on point about the small talk, respect, and kindness. Applicants being nice to me is the only satisfaction I get out of this kind of thing and I am not agreeing to do this so you can belittle what I do.

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Mar 1, 2019
SanityCheck:

What do you do if someone starts talking to you about moving to the front office from the back office?

I wouldn't say there's any hard and fast rules about it but the general guidance I've been given is that we want people that will be there at least 4 years. Sure, BO isn't for everyone, no one is going to chain you to your desk. But to make the recruiting effort worth it, and not pass up any willing candidates, we want people that at least show the possibility of wanting to be in BO for 4 years.

So if that's a topic that brought up at a career fair (or you don't even know that BO exists because all you've been doing is obsessed with FO) then that's a pretty good way to have your resume end up in my "throw away" pile.

    • 1
Mar 1, 2019

Are you going to be an MD? And if so, what are your domination tactics?

    • 1
Mar 1, 2019
iBankedUp:

Are you going to be an MD? And if so, what are your domination tactics?

"The best revenge is massive success"

    • 2
Mar 11, 2019

When you do OCR are you only recruiting for BO roles or are you also gauging whether people are qualified for FO roles? If you are recruiting for both, how do you decide who you're willing to pass on to HR as a BO candidate vs a FO candidate?

Mar 26, 2019
banker2018:

When you do OCR are you only recruiting for BO roles or are you also gauging whether people are qualified for FO roles? If you are recruiting for both, how do you decide who you're willing to pass on to HR as a BO candidate vs a FO candidate?

At the present time I only do BO positions/analysts. I am not an HR rep, I'm one of the supervisors they use to send out to speak and represent at the events. So my focus is always going to be my BO teams. It's really hard for me to imagine a scenario where I would be so impressed by a student that I would immediately recommend them for FO, it's just not something you can distinguish quickly.

    • 2
Mar 25, 2019
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