Oasis Search Partners - Should WSO Start a Recruiting Arm?

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Dear WSO Members - I wanted to ask for your advice. The primary question is, should WSO build out a search arm (Oasis Search Partners?) to help place junior finance talent around the globe?


  • We have incredible access to amazing talent given that WSO is the largest online community focused on careers in finance (over 2 million visits/month, ~1.5 million uniques)
  • It's a natural extension for WSO since we are already experts in the recruiting and interview prep process


  • Would require a significant investment of time and capital to build out the team - would also likely mean abandoning the WSO job board
  • We have no in-house recruiting expertise and the economics and potential of the business are murky to me

Questions for Professionals that Decide What Recruiters to Use

  1. Does your firm use recruiting firms to find junior talent? Interns, analysts and associates? If so, what makes you go with one firm vs another? Would you ever use a search firm to help you find great interns?
  2. Are these exclusive mandates? 10-20% of 1st-year salary for each successful placement?
  3. Is there price sensitivity or do you just care that you are sent the best candidates with as little pain as possible? Provide the tool to screen or send you the list of candidates already pre-screened?
  4. Who makes this decision in your organization?

Questions for Professionals that Use Recruiters to Try and Land a Job

  1. What are your biggest annoyances/pain points?
  2. What do you wish recruiting firms did more of? did less of?


Thanks guys,

Comments (16)

Apr 24, 2018

Apologies for how little benefit my feedback is, I'm far from knowledgeable on this subject.

Just wanted to say "Oasis Search Partners" is a really good name.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Apr 24, 2018

ha, thank you...well I appreciate the bump either way :-)

Apr 24, 2018

i agree, great name

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Apr 24, 2018

Junior as in analysts, associates, interns? The problem is that if you put up a job posting, you get tons of applicants and the internal recruiters sort through them and it's borderline free. You're also competing against school recruiting. I think of headhunters as primarily for pretty senior positions.

Maybe it's different at small firms.

Apr 24, 2018

Yeah, I don't think you're competing or helping large banks that have structured processes in place already. I'm talking smaller banks, PE funds, HFs, corp fin depts looking to hire rockstar IB analysts, etc.

What if we were able to get say ~50,000 profiles/resumes per year of people targeting internships through associate finance positions and there was a screening mechanism (some tech and some manual/phone) for these internal recruiters to be able to only have to deal with the top ~1% (~500) of applicants?

So the pain points you're solving for is:

  1. Are you really getting the best and able to quickly filter for the right skillset (financial modeling, M&A, restructuring, etc)? You may get ~500 applications for that 1 job but are you seeing the full universe of potential candidates (pool 100x that size)? Odds are that 400 out of the 500 you get are immediate throwaways.
  2. That flood of applicants happens with each job opening and that process takes up a ton of time. Firms that use this pre-filtered pool don't need a large team of internal recruiters (more like 0 -2), so that can probably save on that as well.

Curious to hear from people who use recruiters for junior staff (PE firms and HFs), lateral hires and/or what tools they use. What do they like about them? what do they hate?


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Apr 24, 2018


Apr 24, 2018

I think you'd be better off partnering with a OneWire or GoBuyside for 12-18 months / one recruitment cycle on a rev share for placements before jumping in with both feet. You get a free peek at their processes that way you're not completely starting from nothing.

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Apr 24, 2018

The majority of recruiters and online job postings are black holes...you send an email or submit an online application...and never hear back...not even a rejection..just silence. (DE Shaw was an exception...they were kind enough to email me and say that i wasn't a fit for the role they were looking to fill). If you can fix that...would be a major improvement.

just google it...you're welcome

Apr 26, 2018

What if there was no particular job you were applying for and instead you filled out a profile that specified your skills, target industry/s, stats, etc?

Then from there we helped screen and filter the best candidates based on a companies needs...need a PPT wizard, talk to these 20 candidates, want an excel wizard, talk to these 20...want someone with a restructuring background? talk to these candidates...etc etc

Apr 27, 2018

there is still the issue of qualifying the applicants / those who are looking for a job. Anybody can put on their profile / resume "excel / VBA expert"....but without a technical interview, there is no way to ascertain the truthfulness of that item.

Maybe you could have a test /quiz to automate some of that process...i'm not sure how easy that would be to do...seems like something that online universities would have had to solve already tho.

just google it...you're welcome

Apr 24, 2018

as a job seeker I am NOT a fan of dealing with recruiting firms. so far I have found the best bet is to find jobs at banks i would want to work at and try to find the internal recruiter on linkedin most likely to be responsible for the job posting.

external recruiters tend to talk down to me, ghost me, belittle me, waste my time, etc.

if i really needed a job the WSO job board would be enough for me

Apr 24, 2018

i've emailed recruiters from the WSO job board (year ago maybe)...and they never even replied...and i think i was a fit for the role they were posting...so a response would have been nice...but external recruiters just don't care.

just google it...you're welcome

Apr 25, 2018

You wouldn't have to abolish the job board. But, you may have to separate a job board and a job feedback board, as people often post about job process and candidacy.

Junior candidates are definitely high volume, but with the many levels of talent on here, I think it would be advantageous to recruit all levels of talent. Top firms have a hard time finding senior execs at certain times in the lifecycle of their business model and will pay six figures to find the right candidate to the recruiting firm. In this way, WSO could be strengthened financially from placing senior candidates and use the funds to staff people to handle the volume of sorting through the junior candidates. With so much exposure to all levels, it would provide good balance.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Apr 26, 2018

Interesting thoughts, thanks.

Apr 30, 2018

Impartiality / discretion could be a key issue.
Banks / funds probably don't want their recruiters to host people badmouthing them / hosting people disclosing the process

Best Response
Apr 30, 2018
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