How much more difficult is Full Time IBD recruiting nowadays?

Ocean's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 18

Currently a FT recruiting hopeful in IBD and I was wondering how much more difficult is full time recruiting now? I remember going to a RBC Capital Markets info session and an associate mentioned that this year was the last year they will be taking FT students and now they will be filling FT positions from summer analyst positions (in my mind I was like "F***" when he said that). With my GPA and experience my goal is aiming for MM or Boutiques for FT recruiting if I am even lucky.

I read on some threads previously about SA recruiting being more difficult than FT recruiting (Esp. for MM/Boutiques) but it seems like most of the banks are strictly filling up their FT with their Summer Analyst class which would make FT recruiting more difficult? Is this true? Are there any specific banks that like to hire FT a lot/strictly or will converting SA to FT be the norm from now on?

Comments (50)

Jan 10, 2014

It's just an unfortunate reality. The SA's are already familiar with everything and can hit the ground running once graduated. Honestly surprised some firms still go through FT recruiting, I'm sure it's just to fill holes from SA's who didn't want to commit.

Jan 14, 2014
HFer_wannabe:

It's just an unfortunate reality. The SA's are already familiar with everything and can hit the ground running once graduated. Honestly surprised some firms still go through FT recruiting, I'm sure it's just to fill holes from SA's who didn't want to commit.

One or more of the following:

1. This response was written as a joke.
2. you've never been an SA so you aren't aware of how utterly little SAs know about banking. Most are completely useless when they start and are only useful for process work like data entry, comps and formatting by the time they leave
3. " Hit the ground running"? You've never been a full time analyst, because you would know that the first six months on the job are a steep learning curve for everyone, regardless of who summered (aka did comps and formatting) or not.

Banks like to hire out of their summer class not because summers are geniuses, but because you can weed out the ones who can't do basics after weeks on the job so it is less risky (and much cheaper) than hiring a full time.

That being said, I think the OP may be late for most full time positions because numbers for next year are largely set, at least at the BBs. Maybe not MMs but I'm not sure. Best of luck.

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Jan 15, 2014

One or more of the following:

1. This response was written as a joke.
2. You have not gone through the SA process and so know very little about what SA's are capable of by the end of the summer.
3. You work(ed) in a group that have SA's no real responsibilities.

HFer is mostly correct in his post. I also agree with what you said about the weed out process being less risky than full blown FT hiring.

Jan 10, 2014

I think converting SA to FT has been the norm for a while, and it will continue to be that way going forward. However, there are some banks out there that are hiring pretty aggressively for FT - Wells Fargo comes to mind, given their expanding analyst classes.

Jan 10, 2014

Evercore hired 10-12 people (forgot the number) through the FT cycle. However those kids were most likely coming from SA gigs at reputable firms with return offers in hand.

Jan 14, 2014

FT is usually pretty competitive. I came off a IB SA and was not able to land no offer (forget IB, just in general). Fortunately, off-cycle recruiting is out there (how I got in), so you know hustle til you make it.

Jan 30, 2016

Do you mean recruiting in the Spring, when you say off-cycle recruiting ? I've been taking to a few bankers who said that some spots do open up in the Spring as kids renege.

Feb 1, 2016

Off-cycle (for FT) starts basically after November when classes are finalized.....before spots open up especially starting in the New Year due to the natural attrition of the position. Right now is Off-cycle and through the year until late August for FT recruiting

Jan 14, 2014

Just try to get internships and eventually a fulltime gig with a smaller shop. That way you can eventually get in with off cycle or lateral recruiting. A lot of smaller 10-100 people firms have nontraditional recruiting cycles which would help you. Just keep hustlin bro

Jan 14, 2014

I would say its pretty tough no matter where you look. Obviously BB's are out, MM is up in the air (I talked to HR at RBC as well, she said check back late January and a spot might open up but very unlikely). I've been hitting up boutiques and its really not as easy as it sounds but if you talk to the right person and they have the capacity you could get lucky. You can't just email 10 places and expect a FT IBD interview. You really need to reach out to ALOT of banks. I'm open to relocation & unpaid so I'd imagine the situation is even worse for those who can't enjoy this level of flexibility and are subject to the normal level of various constraints.

Jan 16, 2014

And you were "taking a client through a model" as an SA???? I call horse sh!t on that. You would be lucky to go to a meeting as an SA, and even then your role would be to sit down and be polite, not to speak - much less to walk a client through a model, which, if a client were viewing it, would be a model based on the client's operating numbers they sent to your bank, not your D's assumptions. Bankers love money too much to let some summer get on the phone and "walk a client through a model" who, just a few weeks earlier, couldn't even do a model of his own.

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Jan 16, 2014

Full-time recruiting is hard to compare. The top top interviewers will generally take a good portion of the good stuff really early on - the rest is split between people who have lots of good experience, but less interview potential.

Jan 16, 2014

I don't know what your problem is dude. Maybe if you were less antagonizing, your post wouldn't get 3 Monkey Shits...

I am AGREEING with you that the summer program is less risky than full time recruiting because it allows the group to sift out incompetent people. I never claimed that I am the best out there and I don't see how you made that connection based on what I said. I agree with you that I was not super functional on my first day but I was still able to add value by doing something that had a tangible impact on the deal and allowing the analyst staffed on the deal to enjoy more of his weekend. That was my first staffing on my first day on the job (it was a Friday).

By the end of the summer, I was taking the client through the model on a separate staffing. Yes, I used the management team's assumptions from the CIM as well as a haircutted case based on the senior bankers guidance. I don't take credit for determining the operating assumptions because I know nothing about Paper & Packaging companies. But at the end of the day, as the sole analyst on the deal, I was the one who made the model and I was the one who spoke up when we were on the phone. Whether you choose to believe me or not is your problem.

I don't necessarily mean to say that my experience is standard for a summer analyst, but rather I built up enough rapport and trust that I was allowed to speak. Some future summers will be luckier than me while others won't even come close. Clearly your group was less fortunate with the quality of summers it had in the 2 cycles you witnessed.

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Jan 16, 2014
bschoolhopeful:

I don't know what your problem is dude. Maybe if you were less antagonizing, your post wouldn't get 3 Monkey Shits...

I am AGREEING with you that the summer program is less risky than full time recruiting because it allows the group to sift out incompetent people. I never claimed that I am the best out there and I don't see how you made that connection based on what I said. I agree with you that I was not super functional on my first day but I was still able to add value by doing something that had a tangible impact on the deal and allowing the analyst staffed on the deal to enjoy more of his weekend. That was my first staffing on my first day on the job (it was a Friday).

By the end of the summer, I was taking the client through the model on a separate staffing. Yes, I used the management team's assumptions from the CIM as well as a haircutted case based on the senior bankers guidance. I don't take credit for determining the operating assumptions because I know nothing about Paper & Packaging companies. But at the end of the day, as the sole analyst on the deal, I was the one who made the model and I was the one who spoke up when we were on the phone. Whether you choose to believe me or not is your problem.

I don't necessarily mean to say that my experience is standard for a summer analyst, but rather I built up enough rapport and trust that I was allowed to speak. Some future summers will be luckier than me while others won't even come close. Clearly your group was less fortunate with the quality of summers it had in the 2 cycles you witnessed.

Monkey sh!ts from college kids on WSO are irrelevant to literally every aspect of my life.

People don't like harsh realities, such as the SA program that most people on this board place on the highest of regards does not mean you are any better than someone who did not summer.

I worked at a BB and have / had friends from GS to Houlihan (BB to MM), and consensus is SAs in their first few weeks are more of a burden than a help.

Spin it how you want bro. I'm still calling sh!t on you walking a client through a model a summer. And I think anyone who has been a full time in investment banking would equally call sh!t on this one. You don't understand the industry dynamics, and even less than that, I'm sure you don't / didn't understand the huge operating model the client sent across to the firm enough to parce through it to create a working paydown. But you already said it so I guess now you have to stick to it. The high schoolers and people who still have starry eyes visions of what banking life is like may believe you.

Jan 16, 2014

I have interned at a boutique and a MM, and walking a client through my model would be a dream come true.

Not sure if the senior management would risk such huge thing.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Jan 17, 2014

Damn, seems like you guys have taken care of business on this one.

Jan 30, 2016

My brutal honest opinion is that you have a slim shot at landing a full-time offer at a BB or at a Boutique. I don't know about MMs though (e.g., Wells Fargo, BMO, Jefferies, RBC, etc.). Most likely they are finished with their 2016 class as well.

Feb 1, 2016

Do you mean there is a slim chance of landing a FT offer for the class of 2016 or there is generally a slim chance of landing a FT offer if you were not a part of a firm's summer pool (In terms of BB & EB)? I plan to go through FT recruiting in the fall for summer 2017 and I'm trying to get a realistic view on recruiting

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Feb 1, 2016

your chances with BlackRock are slim. i attend a target university and i know for a fact from speaking to the recruiter that their analyst class is 99% filled with summer interns and they're only recruiting right now for IT and the like. wellington and putnam are recruiting at my school rn and they are conducting first round interviews already. i think networking is crucial if you're not at a target school. also apply on their websites now if you havent already because my guess is they will be conducting superdays in the beginning/mid of oct and once their class is filled (and they only hire 2-4 people) then that's it.

Feb 1, 2016

I go to a target school for those firms, and our resume drop deadline was about a week ago; no news of any interviews yet. does this mean I didn't make the cut?

Feb 1, 2016

It is because there are a lot more spots, therefore less competitive. While one definitely has to know the material, there is a lot of emphasis on fit considering it's FT vs a few months. I don't think recruiters go easier as far as interviews, however.

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I have deleted this account (or tried). If there is somehow posts still occuring, it is not from the original account holder.

Feb 1, 2016

Like my take on geriatric undergarments, it depends...

FT can be more competitive than SA in some instances, especially given the current climate in which most banks filled all but a few FT slots with their SA classes (GS almost completely filled their FT Analyst pool with their SAs or with accelerated SA hires from other firms). The interviews aren't any easier, and I would argue that it is more stressful all the way around given that if you don't get an offer then you are in real panic mode, whereas with SA you can come back strong for FT recruiting and at least have another shot. I had 60 plus kids at some of my Super Days and 10+ interviews... A lot different than the SA process for sure... just something to think about...

Feb 1, 2016

Double post...

Feb 1, 2016

I would say more spots plus the fact that many of the "more qualified" candidates most likely already accepted their SA return offers.

Feb 1, 2016

Aren't there less spots? E.g. if there are 60 intern spots and 75 full-time spots, and 45 interns accepted full-time offers at the firm, aren't there only 30 spots open for full-time? In that case SA would sound more difficult (60 vs. 75) when the actuality is that FT is more difficult (60 vs. 30)

I would definitely agree that many of the top candidates already accepted offers (especially the GS/MS kids, who might only recruit for one or two buy-side shops like Silver Lake if they come to recruit)

Feb 1, 2016
WishYouWereHere:

Aren't there less spots? E.g. if there are 60 intern spots and 75 full-time spots, and 45 interns accepted full-time offers at the firm, aren't there only 30 spots open for full-time? In that case SA would sound more difficult (60 vs. 75) when the actuality is that FT is more difficult (60 vs. 30)

You may be right... I think it depends on the bank and year. I know at my place, we hired more for FT this year than SA, but I don't know if it was like that in years past, or what the numbers will be for this coming season. This is for S&T by the way, although I think the trend was similar for IB as well.

Feb 1, 2016

I think it's more difficult because of the fewer amount of spots available. If 95% of the class if full and some others are gunning to switch into the group of their choice then there is little room for error. Very true though that a lot of people don't bother applying FT if they're content with the offer from SA.

Feb 1, 2016

Friend of mine had pwm internship junior summer then landed real nice MM IBD gig full time.. He's a semi target

Feb 1, 2016

What I thought about the differences is already ressembled in the posts above, usually more fit based. However for FT spots (at least accelerated) there are a ton more of interviews, so you will meet with many people and if one doenst like you than thats it. I am talking about 10 - 15 interviews per place. So while it might be more fit based there is also a higher chance that somebody does not want to hire you. So is it easier? I dont know.

Feb 1, 2016

but then if you mess up one interview, it doesn't affect your candidacy as much compared to SA hiring where you meet 4 people

Feb 1, 2016

There are a lot more spots and the best applicants were already SA's, hence they have an offer to return FT.

Furthermore, a large percent of the applicant pool is of less quality, including many applicants with non traditional backgrounds (no IB internships, non targets....).

Feb 1, 2016

I'd say it was harder this year. Almost every firm overhired in their SA class so there were very few spots for FT. That said, in general it is certainly relatively easier (but by no means easy)

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Feb 1, 2016
bulge4lyf:

I'd say it was harder this year. Almost every firm overhired in their SA class so there were very few spots for FT. That said, in general it is certainly relatively easier (but by no means easy)

This is what I noticed as well... at one of my Super Days with ~ 60 kids, they gave out I think 3-5 offers (I was fortunate enough to receive one) but the odds are definitely unfavorable, especially given that almost every BB overhired their SAs...

Feb 1, 2016

depends entirely on over or under hiring in SAs

Feb 1, 2016

I think this is an interesting question, and I've heard four different answers. One camp says if you don't get BB or elite boutique, you're screwed. Another says any investment bank within Vault's top 50, more or less, for prestige will put you in a great position for your job search senior year. Another says any investment banking internship, no matter how small, will do the same. Others say PWM or AM will get in you in just fine. WSO, which is it?

Feb 1, 2016
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Feb 1, 2016