Chip Rae, recruiting director at SG Cowen, must make a decision on which applicants to keep after the final interview process. Rae reviews the hiring decisions together with team captains of each school. In their new strategy, they go beyond the usual top 10 business schools for the best of class. Senior managers see the impact of the new approach after showing some initial resistance.
Thomas J. DeLong, Vineeta Vijayaraghavan
Harvard Business School (402028-PDF-ENG)
May 13, 2002 (Revision: Jan 19, 2006)
Case questions answered:
We have uploaded two case solutions, which both answer the following questions:
- Evaluate the effectiveness of SG Cowen’s recruiting and job search process. To what extent do they result in finding the best candidates for SG Cowen?
- Compare and contrast how the different bankers approached finding the best candidates. To what extent is their approach aligned with Chip Rae’s strategy?
- How effectively did Chip Rae and SG Cowen evaluate the background and personal factors in the hiring and selection process? What changes would you suggest?
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SG Cowen: New Recruits Case Answers
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1. Evaluate the effectiveness of SG Cowen’s recruiting and job search process. To what extent do they result in finding the best candidates for SG Cowen?
Based on the case study, there is not any practical approach to evaluate SG Cowen’s effectiveness. To measure this effectiveness, SG Cowen needs to define its recruitment goals. To do that, it needs to classify specific indicators for measuring recruitment success.
Subsequently, gather information about the process and conduct assessments of performance, e.g., benchmarking against similar firms. A comparison should also be made between different changes in the process, along with appraisals of employee retention rates (Gardner, 2010).
Despite the fact that there is no clear evaluation method, improvements can be made to enhance the recruiting and job search process.
SG Cowen fills its 30 associate positions by hiring half of them internally and the other externally, which is considered a noble philosophy (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw, 2006).
On the one hand, the company hires people with known abilities whilst it motivates current employees by creating the notion of trusting its own people. A negative result of hiring internally is the ripple effect, where new vacancies occur requiring new hires.
On the other hand, external hiring brings new ideas and skills to the organization. However, in doing so, costs are increased dramatically.
SG Cowen changed its strategy for recruiting only from the top 10 schools to the top 25, which allows for top students to be hired from slightly lower-ranked schools.
Despite this, SG Cowen misses several hiring opportunities by excluding intelligent candidates with proven talent who did not have the opportunity to study at top universities.
For example, such a candidate might be the co-founder of a successful business. SC Cowen does, of course, accept resumes from students who did not attend a “top 25” school; however, many students are not aware of this as presentations and other information are not given at their schools.
To solve this problem, other mediums could be used to advertise positions, such as newspaper ads, web ads, or employment agencies. This will increase costs but would be beneficial in the long run.
On the job seeker site, SG Cowen is…
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