Sg Cowan - New Recruits

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Case Preparation Summary – SG Cowen

Short-Cycle Summary SG Cowen, an investment bank, is in the process of hiring a new class of associates. In this process, there remain two available positions, and Chip Rae, the Director of Recruiting, and a group of 30 bankers have four candidates to choose from. The group is having a hard time deciding how they will extend the offers, primarily due to their different opinions based on an evaluation system that allows biased and inconsistent feedback. The time frame for the decision is as soon as possible, since all present are anxious to leave given the inclement weather and the fact that this is a Saturday with bankers who would rather be home on their day off.

Long-Cycle Summary Basic The main issue is this case is easier to understand if we analyze the background of the hiring process at SG Cowen. The economic environment leading to this point had made available an increasing pool of candidates from top business schools, which made the selection process more difficult. Chip Rae, the director of recruiting, had adopted a model for recruiting, in which SG Cowen recruiters would not go to the top 10 business schools, where they would only get interest from the middle-of-the-class students, but instead, they would go to the other business schools in the top 25, where they were able to recruit the top students.

As part of the process, Chip assigned team captains to the schools where SG Cowen recruited and tried to match up alumni with their own school. The recommendation was then made by the recruiters based on how serious and enthusiastic the candidates were. The top candidates selected were then brought to the corporate office for the final round of interviews. This event was called Super Saturday. Bonuses and incentives were based in part on the performance of a new recruit a banker brought to the company through this hiring process.

The final round of interviews is where we observe the main issue. SG Cowen,...
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