Questions about recruiting/employee referrals

nbalivehack's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 47

For those of you who work or have worked in IB or have been involved in IB recruiting, I am curious about the following:

1) How helpful is it to have someone (analyst) forward your resume along to HR? Particularly interested in schools with OCR.

2) How do referral systems vary at the different banks?

3) Would it beneficial to have them forward these resumes now or later, as recruiting for summer recruiting gets closer?

4) Do recent summer interns and new analysts have any leverage in recruiting? Can they send resumes/give interviews to people?

Know some of this information is scattered around and perhaps outdated. Thanks for your insights in advance.

Comments (150)

Aug 21, 2016

No need to answer all of them. I'd be very happy to learn more about any of those questions.

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Sep 9, 2016

Bump.

Sep 9, 2016

1 to 3 is generally have them pass it as soon as possible. It helps get interviews.

4 is that they have the least leverage but can provide gatekeeper status in terms of passing you up the good chain.

Sep 9, 2016

I think this largely depends on the size of the firm. If this is for a large bank, I don't think it will hurt you if you have 5ish referrals from various teams/departments. If it is a small firm/team, realize that word spreads quickly and you should stop after 1-2 referrals. However, think about it from an opportunity cost perspective... for instance instead of having 10 referrals for one firm, it would make more sense to spend the time speaking with 2-3 individuals from 2-4 different firms.

Whatever you do, DO NOT reach out to any more than two individuals on the same team. We had a situation over the summer where a candidate reached out to EVERY analyst/associate as well as multiple senior folks on our team. Suffice to say he did not get an interview despite having a great resume and proper qualifications. Just be smart about it and use common sense.

    • 1
Sep 9, 2016

Having too many referrals backfired for me at 2 BBs but worked at 1 highly respected MM.

Sep 9, 2016

Referrals won't seal the deal for you. However, you can look at the process of getting an offer in 2 stages.

Stage 1 is getting on to the "closed" list (getting invited to a formal interview). The more people you have on what I call your "advocacy team" inside of the bank then the better your chances are of getting selected for an interview.

Stage 2 is the actual interview. Here, I don't think anyone who interviews you will care who your referrals are. However, you have to atleast get to this point to have a chance at shining in the final round interview so yes and no, referrals do and don't help. You need them to get into the process, but they won't get you much past the first round.

Sep 9, 2016

I hope so though...hoping so when things pick up.

Sep 9, 2016

I don't know about associates, but referrals from VPs and up certainly helped me secure interviews in the past. The rest was up to me.

Sep 9, 2016

if you have to ask...

Sep 9, 2016

YES

Sep 9, 2016

Unless the MD really pushes for you it won't help much and I would not even be certain that the person interviewing you will know about the referral. You will still need to convince everyone in your interviews as all other candidates.

    • 1
Sep 9, 2016

Ask the person referring you. Anyone's guess is as good as yours.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Sep 9, 2016

How to ask for referrals?

    • 1
Sep 9, 2016

analysts typically screen resumes higher ups interview.

good chance but not 100% - also it depends if the analyst you got the referral from is screening or knows the person who is screening

-

Sep 9, 2016

To be honest in my experience its a crapshoot. Unless they are an MD in the group your looking for and they are willing to follow up multiple times on your behalf. I have gotten flagged and referrals from partners vps and associates and haven't received interviews.

Sep 9, 2016

i've almost always gotten interviews from referrals.

Sep 9, 2016

Still haven't gotten any interviews from the referrals...do referrals start the process later, like OCR in a way? Or is it as bad as it seems?

Sep 9, 2016

It really all depends, I have had MDs refer me and got no interview, but the majority of the time if you have someone senior pass your resume along and you have the stats you should get an interview (also I was a non-target)

Sep 9, 2016

That appears to be the consensus here. I have a 3.7 from a non-target with a legit PE internship, so while not an Ivy student, I'm not the worst candidate either. Did your interview schedule follow the OCR timeline (February) or were your interviews mostly early Janaury?

Sep 9, 2016

Yes. I will be at a boutique M&A shop this summer after my sophomore year that my friend interned at last summer. He emailed one of the managing partners introducing me, he asked for resume, ect.

Sep 9, 2016

When I was a sophomore this is how I landed an internship at a small bank in the area. This is usually how they got most of their interns. Students at the bank would also know if they are hiring or not.

Sep 9, 2016

Yes, network always good, especially when no connects you have at IBs

Sep 9, 2016

It's sort of intuitive, right? If someone's vouching for you at a small group, that can go a long way, since nobody wants to employ an asshole.

Sep 9, 2016

I'm curious as well because I was referred but haven't heard from them.....

Get busy living

Sep 9, 2016

Total bullshit. Wildly false. There really isn't much more I can add besides I know this to not be the case 1st hand.

Sep 9, 2016

^ good to know it's false!

BTW i heard that from a friend of mine...

Sep 9, 2016

A second hand source's story denies this. He said a non-target guy was able to get an analyst spot based on referrals (not solely on referrals; I'm sure he was qualified).

Sep 9, 2016

not true, i assure you

Sep 9, 2016

I have a buddy from a non-target who landed a GS SA S&T superday based on alumni referrals.

The problem with GS, in my experience, is that older alumni are not as helpful as they are at other banks. Again, that could just have been my experience.

Sep 9, 2016

Thanks for the info. Also: how long is the average the turnaround on response time? And how long should I wait before having a referral in a different department put in if I'm rejected / blown off?

Get busy living

Sep 9, 2016

An MD at GS(FIG/TMT) referred me for an SA spot. Got the interview. Got destroyed. fucking A.

Sep 9, 2016

hopefully things pan out on my (and all of our) end(s)

Sep 9, 2016

Both of blankfeins sons work there.

Maybe you just need a referral from Lloyd.

Sep 9, 2016

Not true, there is in fact a formal employee referral system in place.

Sep 9, 2016

What kind of firm would hear a proven employee endorse someone and not give that any weight?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Sep 9, 2016
happypantsmcgee:

What kind of firm would hear a proven employee endorse someone and not give that any weight?

A bunch of faggots

Get busy living

Sep 9, 2016
UFOinsider:
happypantsmcgee:

What kind of firm would hear a proven employee endorse someone and not give that any weight?

A bunch of faggots

I was wondering why you would write something like this. Then I looked at the time stamp. Either way, +1

Sep 9, 2016
bortz911:
UFOinsider:
happypantsmcgee:

What kind of firm would hear a proven employee endorse someone and not give that any weight?

A bunch of faggots

I was wondering why you would write something like this. Then I looked at the time stamp. Either way, +1

I'm still piecing that night together. What the hell happened??? Thanks for the points.

and I wasn't serious at all, this was just the first post that came up, WHOOPS!

Get busy living

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Sep 9, 2016

why would you not name the MD? he's referred you. otherwise they will never answer your emails

Sep 9, 2016

If the MD cc'ed those four people (often times they do), you can respond directly in that thread to the Analysts...that way it's a legit progression without you making it seem like they have to respond because you put the MD's name in the subject line. More natural IMHO.

Sep 9, 2016

Firm name in the subject line, referral in the body.

Sep 9, 2016
dominatingtheT:

Firm name in the subject line, referral in the body.

Not sure if this is a serious reply or troll, but if the former, WTF are you talking about?
OP said analysts are at the bank where his contact, the MD works at.
And why would you EVER put their firm name in the subject line?

Keep the e-mail short and to the point. Do not babble. "My name is xx, a junior at xx university. I was referred to you by xx and wanted to reach out etc etc"

Sep 9, 2016

Subject: John Smith's Referral

then you and babble all you want. point is you are likely to get a response either way.

Sep 9, 2016

I asked my ex-boss from an internship to introduce me to someone on the MBB team that she worked with, wasn't a problem.

Sep 9, 2016

I don't see any problem with you asking to be introduced to one of the partners of MBB. Plus, you said that she is your mentor so you can just tell her that you are interested in consulting. It is in her discretion to do that for you.

Networking is an art. There are many ways to find connections with the consultants. In my case, I have met someone when I was traveling abroad that introduced me to an MBB Partner. In my experience, consultants generally love to give advice and share their experience. Keep in mind that you do not ask for an invitation for interview, you show them your interest and ask for their advice.

Best of luck!

Sep 9, 2016

Hi Awesome07

Thanks for your reply. I was wondering if you could help me with this hypothetical scenario:
My mentor introduces me to a partner at an MBB and tells him/her that I am interested in the consulting business and would appreciate the chance to speak to someone knowledgable in the business. We set up an informational interview and talk about the consulting business. I leave a great impression on the partner. How can I leverage that to my benefit when applying for an internship at that respective firm? Do I apply online and let the partner know that I am applying? If so, what's the best way to word that (just wanted to let you know that I am applying? that's it?) ? Or do I let them know that I am interested in applying for an internship before I actually do so (and ask them more about the interview process and selection criteria-seems kind of careless since they're "officially" online for most firms)?

I am asking all of these detailed questions since I am planning to ask my mentor for help next week.

Thanks again!

Greed is Good.

Sep 9, 2016

Hi Konig,

I will answer you based on my experience. Make sure the Partner knows that you are interested in applying for an internship at his firm. This can be communicated through your mentor when she introduced you to the Partner and/or when you introduce yourself during the informational interview. The next part after the informational interview is tricky and can go different ways but I laid out two possible scenarios below:

1. He asked for a copy of your resume (make sure its available and potentially good) and forward it to the recruiting team and said that you are either worth interviewing or worth a closer look. If he really likes you, he might recommend some improvements on your resume before forwarding it to the recruiting team.

2. He introduced you to the HR or recruiting team. When you talk to the HR, he might probably ask you to send your application online and let them know if you already did. With this, you'll know that your resume will be read. You have to have an impressive resume though.

What I can advise is do not apply online yet until you have spoken with the Partner unless there is a deadline for submission. That's one of the purposes of informational interview - to get information not available online (e.g. tips on applying, writing a resume, etc.).

Hope this helps.

Best of luck!

Sep 9, 2016

I work at MBB. "Son of client" hires happen, and this is basically the same thing.

Concretely, I would suggest:

1. Tell your mentor you are interested. Ask if she will recommend you and set up a meeting with consultants.
2. Do the informational interview. Sell yourself, etc. Tell the consultant you are applying.
3. When you apply, send a quick follow-up note to the consultant and your mentor, separately.

Basically, just be clear and open about what you want. The rest is up to the strength of the relationships involved.

Sep 9, 2016

No, I don't think that your relationship w the MD should be the deciding factor for which group you end up in. Pick the group that either interests you the most, you have experience in, that you click with best, that has best exit opps/highest dealflow, etc. Unless you told him during your meetings that you were interested in his group specifically, there's no reason you can't choose whichever group you want.

Sep 9, 2016

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Sep 9, 2016

MD referral > GPA. Just have a good story and you should be fine as long as you aren't a total moron.

Sep 9, 2016

Thank you. Any suggestions for how I bring up the 'story'? Best to tell him in an e-mail or give him a call? Meeting with him in person is out of the question as my school is out of province.

Sep 9, 2016

It's probably best not to draw attention to it because it's possible it could get overlooked completely. If anything, you probably should have brought up that during your informational interview. If it makes you look better, list your cummulative and major GPA separately. Are you done with your third year or just starting?

Sep 9, 2016

Done with my third year. I have one full year left of my program and am taking an additional term the following fall to boost my grades. I have never failed a class, just haven't ended up with great marks,

Thanks for the responses.

Sep 9, 2016

Just think about it this way. GPA is mostly used as a screening tool. You've already bypassed the initial screening process that most have had to go through. Just make sure you know your shit and you seem like a solid fit and GPA won't even be a consideration.

Sep 9, 2016

Meeting with another MD tomorrow - sounds like I should bring up the GPA thing proactively.

Thanks again for the responses - helpful and reassuring.

Sep 9, 2016

If they really like you that much, couldn't you just leave it off? I'm in school still, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt, but just a thought.

Sep 9, 2016

I would give it at least another week before sending an email, it's only been two days; these things can take time and while initiative and hunger are good, you don't wanna come off as annoying.

Sep 9, 2016

Agreed, do NOT annoy him.

Sep 9, 2016

You already had an MD guarantee you an interview and it has already been set up. Leave it alone and make sure to follow up and prepare for your interview.

Also start networking elsewhere to get more interviews lined up. I swear it's like common sense is lost on your generation.

    • 1
Sep 9, 2016

I think 90% of all posts can be answered with common sense.

Sep 9, 2016

I was just wondering how referrals worked at big companies. Do they have a system in place? I mean if you have 1000 people referring different candidates it seems pretty hard to track compared to a small 10 man company where you'd get only a handful of referrals.

Sep 9, 2016

If you ask that, you will be saying "I'm looking to leave."

Best way is to network yourself and not have them hold your hand through the process -- mainly because its risky if they say no, or worse. Even if you're friendly with them, it may make them feel betrayed or disappointed that they invested time and care into you for the long term. I'm assuming that you aren't part of a huge bank where analysts come and go nonstop, so this can easily happen. You'd be up the creek without a paddle if you ask that and there are no offers whatsoever (and not to mention, piss them off). Don't quote me, but I believe they have a right to fire you or hold your bonus after they sense that someone is interviewing or wants to interview elsewhere.

IMO don't use current superiors as a network for exit opps until you leave the firm. Unless you're REALLY close and friendly with them or they would not want to take you on (and its standard at the bank to leave after some time), you're basically crapping where you eat and its begging to backfire.

Hope that it goes well for you. Feel free to ask more questions.

Sep 9, 2016

Heard it can be significant too. Nothing to lose by asking but since you have no contract promising you the dough and you've forked over the applicant, what incentive would they have to pay you? Assuming of course that there was no mention of such a fee.

Sep 9, 2016

Would just be a gentleman's handshake. Know both of them quite well. If he's selected there would be significant savings from headhunter costs and employee time cost of going through a long recruitment process. $10k does not sound that high in light of that.

Headhunter fees range from 15% to 33%. Assuming $300k all-in comp this would yield a fee of $45-99k. Holy shite.

Sep 9, 2016

Also, if anyone knows how I should structure my email to the managing partner. Any tips would be more appreciated.
I'm freaking out right now.

Sep 9, 2016

I think your post is a bit long. A tl:dr version with max. 5 sentences of what happened and what you are trying to do would help here

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

Sep 9, 2016

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and let it go. You're stressing yourself way too much and anxiety over the past will dig yourself a deeper ditch. If he follows through and refers you to a contact, great-- count that as a blessing. However, don't be surprised if he doesn't because while it may just be a warm introduction, his ass is on the line and it'll make him look bad if you performed as you did with him.

Sep 9, 2016

yeah, that's what I was thinking. But I'm heavily leaning towards sending him an email tomorrow. No harm I guess?.. I've really got nothing else on the horizon & not working is driving me mad!
Hell, I can't even do volunteer work cause the immigration guys don't allow it

Sep 9, 2016

I have no idea what you should be but Breathe man! Breathe deep into your belly!

Sep 9, 2016

Anyone got thoughts on explaining a years gap on resume? The partners will probably only notice this during the interview while looking at my resume.

In my experience, people interviewing you rarely read your CV less than 10mins before the meeting

Sep 9, 2016

"What kind of desk (products) should I ask for"

Are you fucking kidding me?

Sep 9, 2016

My reaction indeed

Sep 9, 2016

Well it all depends on what you want out of networking.

Sep 9, 2016

"what are some relevant questions that I can ask about that person's specific job?"

come on bro....

Sep 9, 2016

you're not doing it right

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Sep 9, 2016

friend/colleague/fellow student/teacher/boss

Sep 9, 2016

anyone?

Sep 9, 2016

My experience is that if your "former employees" were MD's, you probably wouldn't would be posting on this board looking for advice Mr. CEO.

Sep 9, 2016

huh? what do you mean, i worked at a boutique bank before so it wouldnt be so strange if an md write you a rec...?

Sep 9, 2016

Judging from the quality of the English I have a feeling he meant "employer," just a "hunch."

Sep 9, 2016

ohhh got it, thats funny now that i look at it again

Sep 9, 2016

At least from what I know, it doesn't work if you simply mention their names in the applications. Instead, you should always ask them to forward your resume (recommend you) to the campus recruiter.

Sep 9, 2016

In my experience it depends on the seniority of the person referring you. Referral from an MD in commercial real estate at a BB got me a first round in IBD.

Sep 9, 2016

how about a sr vp from another division to another senior vp ..say a real estate investing arm of a company to a mezz debt investing arm of a company?

Sep 9, 2016

Definitely sounds plausible, I'd say you have a good chance. Referrals will get you a first round, the rest is up to you.

Sep 9, 2016

Have you tried reaching out to HR?

Sep 9, 2016
CHItizen:

Have you tried reaching out to HR?

I tried sending email follow ups to some recruiters I found on LinkedIn, but I'm not sure who exactly to reach out. I always get a response on the phone just saying that they received my application. Not sure what to do to speak directly to a recruiter (at BB).

Sep 9, 2016
Anacott_CEO:
CHItizen:

Have you tried reaching out to HR?

I tried sending email follow ups to some recruiters I found on LinkedIn, but I'm not sure who exactly to reach out. I always get a response on the phone just saying that they received my application. Not sure what to do to speak directly to a recruiter (at BB).

Do you maybe have any friends at the firm (not your initial contact)? They should be able to find out fairly easily, if they don't already know. Other than that, I would just sit tight but cast a wide net by keeping on networking with other firms in case this doesn't pan out, one way or another. Best of luck.

Sep 9, 2016

I mean I guess if she will not refer you maybe she can just pass your resume along to the correct people to make sure it gets looked at. Other than that not sure what else you can do.

Sep 9, 2016

Thanks...but she's not doing investment banking. Would that be ok?

Sep 9, 2016

Referral is tough because you are basically asking someone to put their name on the line for you when they have never met you. A difference between getting a referral and her passing your resume along to HR or the right person. I would see if you can get her on the phone and talk about her position. You have to remember that firms like this are huge and she may work in a completely different department. Your goal should be to leverage your network to speak to people within the IB department. Good luck.

Sep 9, 2016

Yeah senior guys its usually 10-20 minutes. Analysts/associates it can be as long as an hour especially if they're alum since you have a lot more in common and may end up spending 30 minutes talking about college/sports etc

Sep 9, 2016