Goldman Sachs is taking a recruiting tip from Google



Reuters

  • Goldman is looking to deepen its relationship with more
    universities across the US.
  • The financial giant has typically focused much of its
    energy on a basket of a couple dozen schools, but its CEO Lloyd
    Blankfein said the firm is casting a wider net. 
  • Goldman hosted a half-day session with undergraduates
    from CUNY, a public university in New York City earlier this
    month. 
  • During a fireside chat with students in September,
    Blankfein said the firm is looking for talent outside the
    Ivy League to compete with Facebook and Google.

Goldman Sachs is embracing top students from outside the
hallowed halls of the Ivy League.

Goldman Sachs chief officer Lloyd Blankfein hosted a fireside
chat in September for 250 students from Macaulay Honors College,
a New York-based public school, during which he outlined the
firm’s new outlook on recruiting talent. He told students the
firm is no longer “trapping” itself by “recruiting from the same
30 or 40 schools.” 

The firm has been deepening its relationship with the
college, which is considered a high-caliber public
school. 

On November 3, Goldman hosted a resume
and interview workshop for 75 Macaulay students.

Goldman’s outreach to Macaulay is the latest in its attempt
to shake-off its Ivy League reputation. Through new technologies,
for instance, the firm has been able to expand its reach with
video interviewing and webinars. 

Traditionally, it actively targeted a basket of just a couple
dozen schools, including those in the Ivy League as well as some
higher-ranked public schools such as Brigham Young University and
Rutgers University, for instance.

Blankfein said during the fireside chat that for some students
from non-targeted schools, getting through the doors of Goldman
was akin to a “salmon who had to swim upstream.” But
increased competition from Silicon Valley has forced the firm to
pivot and open its arms to different types of talent. Here’s
Blankfein:

“It wasn’t an act of kindness on my part, or generosity, or
trying to create diversity; it was as pure selfish, naked
self-interest, we wanted to really extend our net further because
everybody’s involved pretty much in a war for talent. And we
compete against obviously all the other financial services firms,
but we compete against all the technology firms.”

Goldman’s attempt to become the Google of Wall Street has been
well-documented (In fact,
it’s even being taught at Harvard Business School
). A
recent report by CBInsights showed 46%
of Goldman’s recent job listings were in tech. 

“The highest percentage of technology jobs were for
platform roles, followed by operations engineering and equities
technology positions,” the report said. 

The logic behind Goldman’s push outside the Ivy League is that
it’ll help fill those positions. Here’s Blankfein
(emphasis our own):

“Thirty percent of the people who work in this firm are
engineers, are technologists, because of the way the financial
markets have gone. So we compete against Facebook and
Google and all these other places for talent. And increasingly,
everybody casts a wider net, which means in a way we don’t go to
a lot of campuses now when we screen people.
We do a lot
of this interviewing electronically, which has allowed us to do a
very, very wide net on people.”

In some respects, the bank’s efforts have paid off. Goldman
conducted round-one interviews with undergrads from over 950
schools this year, up 20% from the year prior. And nearly 50% of
the firm’s summer interns in the Americas were students from
“non-core” schools in 2017.

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