Reaching Out to Recruiters/Headhunters

BananaHoarder's picture
Rank: Monkey | 39

I understand that it is still quite early to be considering this, but I was curious about the process of reaching out to headhunters early on. I'm a first year analyst at a BB in ER, and was wondering if it would be a good idea to reach out to/network with some recruiters just to touch base and get my name out there. Does this make sense at this point, or am I better off waiting until I am closer to finishing my first year?

Comments (75)

Jul 31, 2016

My experience was less than positive, but maybe you'll have better luck. I started reaching out to them after being at my shop (BB ER) for ~18-24 months. Most of them didn't give me the time of day and quite a few said that if I didn't have a buyside job that they couldn't help me (kind of a catch-22 there). Having said that, if you're coming from a better BB than I did, you may have better luck. Based solely on my experience, my guess is they won't give you the time of day, but it probably doesn't hurt to ask if you have any friends in the recruiting business or specific connections you can use.

Jul 31, 2016

Reach out within your first year but well before summer BC all those recruiters go away bc their clients go away then. You probably want to reach out Feb / March for HF positions. Unlike HFs there isn't a typical recruiting cycle but there tends to be more movement around year end bonuses for firing / switching jobs.

Jul 31, 2016

Sweet, appreciate the input.

Do you guys happen to know of any west coast recruiters specifically, or a place I can look for some?

Aug 1, 2016

Carter Pierce is W. Coast based. Not sure if they slant more PE/HF. Oxbridge and Dynamics will recruit for a decent amount of W. Coast positions and have offices out there despite NYC bias. They both set me up w/ multiple W. Coast interviews, and I admittedly had an E. Coast bias.

Aug 1, 2016

Great, really appreciate it. Out of curiosity, what was your path into the industry?

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Aug 1, 2016

I recently reached out to a headhunter just to cover my bases for when I graduate next spring. She said that she should be my last resort and that hopefully I won't have to use her, for what it's worth.

Aug 1, 2016

if you want to bounce from a BB to the buyside...the typical route is

IB 1-2 years and then bounce
ER - 4-5+ years and then bounce, but only if you have a good track record.
Trader - 2-5+ years, but again, only if you have a good track record.

ER takes more time because the buyside gets to read your research reports / watch your recommendation track record over time (which is what you are advertising)....vs in IB, you are just crunching numbers / modeling but not making investment decisions. Most ER analysts are actually not very good...so just because you have this job does not guarantee a move to the buyside.

The ER career path is into making investment decisions as a PM. If you just want to be a support analyst for somebody else's investment decisions, then you should have gone the classic IB route.

Both Research and Trading are implicitly a longer/slower path to the buyside. However, once you get to the buyside, the comp potential is much greater...because you are going straight for the PM role, vs just being an analyst.

In research, your immediate goal should be to
1) get published so that buyside clients can read your individual views, and be aware that you exist
2) build a shadow book track record...essentially, you are paper trading on a longer time horizon than average "traders" because you can only publish trade ideas every so often.

This track record is essentially your interview...buyside funds will read and track your trade ideas and your performance history over time (you should publish your trade ideas over time with a model PnL, based on a 100mm portfolio)...and after 2-4 years of good performance / track record, then you will be in a position to reach out to funds / headhunters with that track record / body of research work in hand.

So, at the end of every research report, you should have a table with all your trade recommendations over time
(entry date & price - exit date & price - assumed PnL on 100mm portfolio)
For open positions, list the securities closing price for that day, and the mark-to-market PnL.

You are interviewing for a PM position...so you have to act like a PM...if you want to eventually be offered a position as a PM.

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Aug 1, 2016

Thanks for the input. I was thinking more of an investment analyst role vs. PM, but the way you put it definitely makes sense to me. I assumed a couple years in ER and then move to a shop focused on fundamentals since the work is presumably (somewhat) similar, especially when compared to what I would be doing in IB.

Aug 1, 2016

unfortunately, since you are in a position where the results of your work (your research and analysis) are published, the buyside gets to choose to read your work output over time, and then decide if they want you or not. If you were just an IB analyst/associate, your work product would not have the same visibility, but it is assumed that most IB analysts/associates have similar experience (until the actual interview).

The typical recruiting process for Research to the buyside is to actually publish unique research with good results, the go visit and talk to clients (after you publish a number of great reports, sales will start asking you to visit clients). This takes both time, and actual performance.

So, the question is...have you actually had any good performance yet? Have you been publishing both your analysis and your trade recommendations? If not, then you need to start doing that. Come up with a model portfolio (assume 100mm), with clearly defined investment thesis for both positions as well as trade entry / exit.

There really is no other alternative...just espousing on risks and potential surprises is not good enough...at the end of the day, in any security, you either, buy, sell, or are flat.

To be considered a "rockstar research analyst" you need to do more than publish an opinion and price targets. You need to publish TRADES, with both STOP levels and EXIT price targets if you want to be taken seriously by the buyside. Not all research analysts do this...but then most of them also don't get to go to the buyside.

If you just want to analyze companies, then you should go into IB. Research is a much "easier" job than IB in terms of pressure and day-to-day work product (which i'm sure you know)...but then the output is very different...because Research is really more closely aligned with Trading than it is to IB, but without the actual PnL pressure of a trader. If you think and publish like a trader, you will find a much more receptive audience.

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Best Response
Aug 1, 2016

PE headhunter here.

It doesn't hurt to reach out to recruiters (most will accept connecting on LinkedIn even if you've never met, as long as you work for a BB or elite IB boutique). That being said, I'm asked almost daily by IB analysts whether they can have a coffee or jump on a call with me - while I'd love to, I usually have to decline. The reason is simple: what my clients require is extremely narrow and focused, and the odds that you have exactly what they're looking for are quite low. I need to make the best use of my time, and spending it with candidates unlikely to match my clients requirements is not the best strategy. Each executive search firm has established relationships with a comparatively small number of clients. To maximize your chances of success, you should be connected with as many headhunters focused on your interests as possible. My best advice: be on headhunters radar (i.e. connect on LinkedIn or send them an email) and let them come to you. While touching base with headhunters once a year or so is probably a sound strategy, shaking the tree constantly will ultimately annoy them and possibly lessen your odds of them reaching out.

The fruit will fall when it's ripe.

Good luck!

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Aug 1, 2016

Let the headhunters email you first - trust me, everyone (ie recruiters, PE guys) already finds it pretty weird that on cycle recruiting happens so early nowadays. You don't want to be that kid whose reaching out to headhunters before you even start work.

Go into your introductory meetings and come across as (1) certain in what kind of PE you want (size, sector, type of associate experience) and why; (2) knowledgeable about the PE landscape; (3) polished and getting a good experience at your bank so far; and (4) likable and not boring. This way, you not only won't just be another name on their listserv who receives the standard headhunter mass emails, but a personality they actually remember and feel like they have a decent relationship with. The hope is that when a fund like LG&P comes knocking, the first thought by their recruiter will be "Hey, there was that kid from HLHZ/Roths/GHL who wanted to work with a fund that invests in companies of $X size, seems like s/he is really interested in retail and definitely has a standout personality - I'll put him/her in front of LG&P and see what happens."

Aug 1, 2016

I was in a small product group (but at a top BB) that got overlooked by a couple of the recruiting firms. I just asked analysts in other groups for the contacts at the firms I didn't hear from. I emailed them my resume with what I was looking to do, and they were more than happy to work with me. After my initial email, they usually asked to set-up a call/meeting.

I'm not sure if they'd care whether or not you were still in an analyst program, but I'd recommend doing it while you were still employed.

Aug 1, 2016

HR doesn't really make decisions. It's usually the MD's, D', VPs and sometimes Associates. HR just passes on the good/bad news

Aug 1, 2016

which group?

Aug 1, 2016

I want to collect some basic info on groups - I'm fairly open but leaning towards M&A and tech.

Aug 1, 2016

i know that the bmo ppl in nyc are very responsive just put together a nice succinct email. never dealt with the chicago office.

Aug 1, 2016

Are you a student? I've talked to a couple of other people with same problem. Can you ping me with a contact name?

Aug 1, 2016

What GS office was this? So far I've talked to people in the NY and CHI office and they say they're not recruiting full-time.

I would say best way is to network. Set up informational interviews with someone you have a connection with at the bank you're looking into and then ask them if they know anything about the full-time hiring process, or see if they can put you in touch with anyone who does know.

Aug 1, 2016

This post spews of misinformation and confusion.

Aug 1, 2016

First, don't underestimate the value of recruiters. While obvious, it's worth repeating that if they like you, they can get you the interview. So with that, I'd recommend going straight to phone, since e-mail can be far too easily ignored. While on the phone, try to have it as a normal conversation rather than a Q&A. Finally, when you're wrapping up, see if he can refer you to any bankers in groups that you might be interested in at said BB.

Good luck!

Aug 1, 2016

Calling a BB recruiter is pointless. If they even respond to you that will be a miracle. Calling them won't do you any good considering that they know why you're calling and asking them what you can do to better position yourself is kinda obvious. Go to a target school, have good grades, and have relevant experience in the industry.

If this is their personal contact information then I take back what I said, however, if you're cold calling recruiting then GOOD LUCK!

Aug 1, 2016

Posting the same message three times in a row is pointless, dumbdick.

Aug 1, 2016

were you talking to me?
Or one of the respondents.

Aug 1, 2016

Does anyone know whether calling a BB recruiter is pointless? Anyone???

Aug 1, 2016

Been in the situation before. Though i usually email.

But if you call them, introduce yourself properly, (who you are, why your calling) have good answers for general questions like why IB. Then end the call by asking if you can grab coffee with him or a banker when you visit NY (or whereever) sometime.

Aug 1, 2016

Haha a quad post?

Not sure about your inquiry. However, if you go to IU, talk to Haeberle if you're interested in BB IBs. He'd have some advice, and could maybe hook you up with contact info of his former students at BBs (not sure if he'd do that).

Aug 1, 2016

not for internships, they place for FT.

Aug 1, 2016

They likely will not be able to help you as firms typically hire head hunters to fill roles that can't be filled via campus recruiting i.e. experienced hire roles requiring -- at the very least -- 1-2 years FT experience.

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Aug 1, 2016

Bump, I'm sure you guys can take a break from giving kids proper formats for post-interview thank you notes to give me some kind of an answer here

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Aug 1, 2016

If you're set on buy side, maximize your chances by improving your interactions with hhs.

Aug 1, 2016

Probably wouldn't hurt if you handle it the right way.

Aug 1, 2016

"So I'm a 1Y at a pretty good boutique (MoCo/Laz/Evercore/Gugg)"

So... you're at Gugg?

Aug 1, 2016

So by first year you mean you hit the desk like a month ago, after factoring in training, right? If so, you're fine.

As ridiculous as it sounds, the headhunters will start to reach out to you as early as October. That shocked me considering I literally had no idea what the hell I was doing at that stage of my career. I don't see a need for you to reach out to them at this point, and honestly, I think there is some downside to it. You don't want a HH to think that 1 month on the job you're already so focused on getting out that you won't bother to build a real skill set.

Spend the next month or two prepping for those initial conversations with HHs. Talk to the kids in the class above you, ask them about the process and how it's worked out for them. They are going to be your best resource. If the emails don't start to come by late fall, ask them to introduce you to the HHs that they have spoken with. You're super early in the process, slow down and focus on making yourself a strong candidate. You're going to be more than fine.

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Aug 1, 2016

Definitely, stalk them out, get their contact info by whatever means necessary and try to take advantage of the opportunities they've been tasked with filling.

Aug 1, 2016

Recruiters aren't that important, better to e-mail alumni that don't push papers all day.

Aug 1, 2016
chicago__111:

Recruiters aren't that important, better to e-mail alumni that don't push papers all day.

ANYONE at a company (except the janitor maybe) is a contact, and is worth reaching out to. Try to network with both alumni and recruiters.

Aug 1, 2016

If they were giving out their cards to other people, and you just forgot to ask for one, just e-mail them anyway because its not like they are going to remember that they specifically didn't give you their contact info. If they weren't giving cards out to anybody, definitely still try to reach out, but anytime I send out a "cold-email", I always make sure to say where I got their contact info.

Hope this helps.

Aug 1, 2016

Email them and ask for a time when you can have an informational discussion (in person is best but if not then over the phone)...

And start reading M&I... it covers all this shit

Aug 1, 2016

ill send you a pm in a bit

Aug 1, 2016

@rufiolove - found a very helpful article on M&I.

@LIBOR - FU Nation haha.

Aug 1, 2016

I misread this as "how to hook up with my friend's headhunter." Woulda had some better advice had that been the question...

Aug 1, 2016

Transferring now? Abso-fucking-lutely not. But I'm sure they would be more than happy to talk to you and tell you how you can leverage current and past experiences for a position in IBD in the future.

Aug 1, 2016

Thanks for the response.

I should clarify sorry. I meant starting full time in the IBD. So I want to ask the recruiter if there's a possibility to interview with the banking group. Not transfer from my group mid-internship

Aug 1, 2016

.

Aug 1, 2016

Bump

Aug 1, 2016

halfstep, have you checked out these or run a search:

  • Canadian buy-side analyst trying to transition to US Arbitrage event driven canadian transition to us buy-side analyst Hedge Fund Forum Resources Hedge Fund ... and my experience are predominantly in the event driven space (risk arbs, special situations) but I do ... transition... Recruiters? online applications? cold calling..
  • AMA: London L/S + event-driven analyst my last year in a kind-of junior PM / senior analyst-type role. HF2: Moving to an event-driven fund ... multi-manager L/S, event-driven and macro. Happy to answer questions on most topics: recruiting from sellside, ... Greenlight, etc. Worked for 3 years as a generalist analyst covering US + Europe. Managed a small sub-book in ...
  • AMA: Research Analyst at Event-Driven/Special Sits HF directly from "non-target" 5 event-driven/special situations hedge fund focused on stressed/distressed and catalyst-oriented/situational ... to anyone interested in a similar career path as mine. I definitely gleaned a lot from others here so ... hopefully I can answer some questions people might have. Background: 2nd Year Research Analyst at a top ...
  • Event-Driven Funds- Squeeze-Out litigation in Europe waiting for others to do so). 1) How would you categorize this? "Activist merger arbitrage" as ... / rule out any of the following funds I found in various event-driven / special situations listings? ... Fellow Monkeys, I'm trying to gather a list of event-driven funds in Europe, especially those ...
  • Highly driven Macro HF Trader looking to change firms and explore new opportunities analyst on the trading desk and also focused on global macro research, then was promoted to trader in July ... before I was a teenager, and am always driven to outperform. I've been mentored by the best managers ... cross-asset risk, in addition to capturing arbitrage opportunities * Equities, Index and Treasury Futures, ...
  • Interview Prep for Event Driven HF? I have an interview lined up with a typical event driven / special situations hedge fund for the ... investments fall into the event driven / special situations category? hedge fund special situations event ... next week. I invest on my own and my style is fairly easy to follow: value-
  • Goldman Sachs SSG (Special Situations Group) I worked at a top BB IBD last summer and am wondering if I have a shot here. How do they recruit? Somebody ... I'd appreciate any insight into how this group operates or looks for candidates. Goldman Sachs Special ... Learn How to Network like a Master. Inside the WSO Finance networking guide, you'll get ...
  • More suggestions...

No promises, but thought I'd mention a few relevant users that work in the industry: @Ryan-McIver @Bfoster82 @fundinvestoraz

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Aug 1, 2016

Message me directly...I would be happy to share my thoughts with you!

Aug 1, 2016

interested as well.

Aug 1, 2016

Well oil and gas is in mainly New Orleans and Houston. Which right now is really, really bad. I know there are other industries that do banking in Nola. Not sure about Houston.

Dallas has a lot of random stuff. Maybe try there?

I would guess LinkedIn.

Aug 1, 2016

Hmm, well I'm on the east coast so trying to apply online tends to be a black hole, since they'd obviously prefer someone local. Should I start with the usuals like glocap?

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Aug 1, 2016
Aug 1, 2016
Nov 29, 2018
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