How do referrals really work from the inside?

Networking is stressed to get your resume pushed, and it is clear that it has an impact but is there anyone on the inside that can provide insight into the mechanics of it. Does HR wait for a quantity of referrals? If you have the worse experience, does HR look for more networking? Can one analyst pull someone through?

I'm sure its different across all banks, but I have always disliked how much of a black box this process has been and think it could have been a lot easier if I was able to cater my networking to what banks look for.

Comments (23)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 28, 2020

Process various a lot depending on firm size (BB/EB/Boutiques) I'd assume as well as school priority (target/semi-target/non-target) at my EB it usually goes like this (hr is barely involved except help scheduling stuff). Aside from diversity recruiting its not a "rolling basis" we wait till x date to get all the resumes in and then deliberate.

Target school: OCR get a stack of resumes the relevant alumni (usually juniors as seniors dont really care) pick top 15-20 kids to interview for first rounds through usually an internal email chain or sitdown for 30min-1hr. Now if you networked your name will standout and get an interview. Of course say you networked with an MD and he/she refers you to us, we'll probably interview you to not piss the MS off

Semi-target: same concept except # of applicants probably to interview less (probably half or less than half of target)

Non-target: after going through target/semi-target recruiting we get a huge batch (200-300 resumes) and we then select top 20-30 kids to interview. Now if an analyst refers you here, you'll have a good chance to standout.

Hope this helps and gives you a little bit of color

    • 1
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2020

So if someone networked, once their resume comes up in the stack, someone could say "hey this kid is solid" or something like that?

Jun 30, 2020
Prospect in IB - Gen:

So if someone networked, once their resume comes up in the stack, someone could say "hey this kid is solid" or something like that?

If you network correctly, you won't even be in the stack. Your resume will already be in the group for interview.

Jun 28, 2020

^^^ and who deliberates. Do you guys meet over a call or something?

path less traveled

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 28, 2020

In-person or through email chain. Noone really calls when I can just walk over and talk about it or if we're all busy just shoot an email lol

For target/semi-target alumni of course primarily juniors (inclusive of VPs) and non-targets sort of a mixed assortment of analysts/associates from random schools helping out.

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jun 28, 2020

For targets, can you provide more color on how many of the top 15 - 20 kids that are extended first rounds also networked extensively? Also, is networking more of a numbers game at your firm or do you not care whether someone has networked with 2 analysts versus say 4 or 6.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 28, 2020

1 person going "at-bat" for you > 3 mediocre connections when we decide to interview

I'd say probably 50~60% of the kids networked to some level and 15~25% networked really hard

Jun 30, 2020

For non-target, could you speak to you are referring to when you say "we" get a huge batch of resumes? In other words, if the app is general and not to a specific product/coverage group, who is looking at resumes? If your referral is not involved in reviewing resumes, would they ever be looped in to ask about an applicant who listed them as a referral/can you even see that once resumes get to you or is that only seen by HR?

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 30, 2020

So simple without HR fucking things up lol

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Jun 28, 2020

It is as straightforward as it sounds, if a person (especially senior) "goes to bat" for you, you get an interview. There is a difference between "yes I talked to that person" and "yes I talked to that person, they seem bright, we should interview them".

It works as expected you don't just grab the resume from the stack and say "oh this looks good" you say "I spoke to this person, we should interview them". You will normally also look at their resume, etc, but a conversation can override weaknesses.

In general interviewing is cheap enough to take bets on referrals. And usually referrals (real referrals, not just knowing a person) end up being much high probability recruits as someone has done a "mini interview" during networking.

    • 1
Jun 30, 2020

bump...can anyone speak to GS/JPM/MS black box

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2020

bump same as above, what's going at GS/MS/JPM? Do you need to talk to a VP+ to get pushed? Does policies change office by office?

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2020

An analyst at MS told me that the seniors and HR typically ask analysts who from their school is good. I've even heard of an SA being asked.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2020

For target schools or all schools?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 30, 2020

For Goldman, is it enough if a 3rd year associate pushes my resume to the HR?

Jun 30, 2020

Sorry silly prospect, a referral from a 3rd year Associate only get you 2.6x referral points.

Clearly, you need at least 3.2x referral points for an interview.

Source: Goldman Sachs Mail Boy

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 1, 2020

r u the mailboy who became ceo

Jul 1, 2020

actual bump tho^^^ is it HR who gets the final call or the campus recruiters who are analysts

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 1, 2020
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