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Sg Cowen Case

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Autor:   •  March 17, 2011  •  1,026 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,670 Views

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SG Cowen Analysis

Problem Identification:

SG Cowen's strategy is to recruit the best possible MBA candidates from the top B-schools in the country into their associates program. However, unstructured interviewing and hiring processes may not allow for the overall best candidates to be chosen.

Problem Analysis:

SG Cowen's hiring process is very challenging to its candidate in order to secure only the best talent available to them. The candidates that are even considered for interviews must have top notch educational and/or job accomplishment. The process begins as early as the fall with core B-school visits and info sessions, followed by campus interviews in closed sessions1 . If selected for the final round, candidates are invited to Super Saturday where the associates' class will be selected. It's an exhausting experience for candidates and the interviewers. The day consists of a formal dinner with leadership the night before where candidates are sized up, even in a non-business setting2. The next morning, each candidate is assigned (5) thirty minute interviews with assigned SG Cowen bank associates and leadership3. After the interviews take place, all the interviewers meet to determine who gets job offers.

There are many flaws with SG Cowen's procedure that are indicated in the case. First, there are no HR representatives available, only bank professionals. These people are not formally trained in giving interviews which can easily lead to stereotyping candidates. This could be in regards to how a person talks, their marital status, education history, and/or physical appearance. This is a big deal since the prejudice of one individual could sway the group to pass on a solid candidate due to the individual interviewers personal beliefs. This could also take place because the interviewer could be fatigued from long drawn out process and subconsciously be annoyed at some of the later interviewees. This makes the process unfair. In addition, the thirty minute interviews are too short to determine if a candidate is capable of performing for SG Cowen or a "culture fit". There must be a common measurement that weighs all the candidates, such as a common exercise, which is discussed in the alternatives sections.


1) No Change - SG Cowan will still bring in top talent of MBA candidates that have the "culture fit" the firm is looking for. Candidates who want to join SG Cowen's class of associates will still do what is asked of them and that it is difficult for a reason. Making any of the processes easier will only make it less stressful on the candidates, something that is not SG Cowen's main concern.

2) Case Analysis/Presentation - This job is considered very selective by SG Cowen and it's important that all candidates are measured using the same guidelines. Assigning a business case to the candidates. This will allow them to promote their problem solving, creativity, fast thinking, and presentation skills to the interviewers to collectively see if the candidate is the right person for the job.

3) More HR involvement in process - Let the recruiters out of human resources determine the candidates. These personal are trained to be objective in each of the candidates. Recruiters know what SG Cowen is looking for and will search for those people without prejudice. Since there are no compensation rewards for recommending successful candidates, there is no motivation for the interviewer to put any real effort into this task. This would also allow the bank professionals the day off from Super Saturday and let HR do their job.


Of the three alternatives, the most effective on is the case analysis / presentation at Super Saturday. If SG Cowen is very selective in their candidates, they might as well make the candidates


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