The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Recruiting for Investment Banks

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Recruiting for investment banks can be a considerable responsibility for hiring managers. 

They have to consider several factors and credentials, but they also have to be fair and consider all competent candidates. Whether it is a simple job or requires a lot of expertise, the process can be quite extensive and time-consuming.  

However, the hiring process or the investment banking interviews you’re conducting may lack specific vital components that the hiring manager might not be aware of. They could be the difference between hiring a suitable candidate and letting them slip out of your hands. 

Keep reading to learn about what you need to know about investment banking recruiting and everything hiring managers need to do to find the best and most qualified talent.

What Does Investment Banking Recruiting Look Like?

For a recruiting manager, all hiring processes appear the same, regardless of the industry. However, after digging deeper, you will find that each industry and field comes with its own set of strategies and methods. The investment banking industry is no different!

When we mention investment banking recruiting, we refer to the process used by banks to screen and interview candidates and give them job offers based on their skills and qualifications once they are selected. Investment banking is one of the most lucrative and high-valued fields, and the job market can be pretty competitive. You can expect to receive up to a hundred thousand applications for a few thousand positions.

Some of the largest investment banks have pervasive and structured hiring processes, and they tailor their strategy according to the latest hiring trends and job market statistics every year. This makes them different from smaller banks, which conduct their hiring processes depending on a vacancy or position. Since most of the recruiting process revolves around college and university graduates, they are primarily divided according to the institution’s standing and the candidates’ performance.

Recruitment Process Followed by Managers

In the investment banking recruiting process, candidates are usually interviewed virtually or in person. If those candidates are selected, they are offered short internships or full-time jobs. Investment banking jobs typically come with high-paid salaries, so there is little work for banks to market or attract candidates for their job vacancies.

Investment banking is a competitive field with fewer vacancies and more graduates every year. This process requires patience and deliberation, particularly while making the final selection.

Putting Up a Job Ad or Vacancy

The first thing hiring managers need to do is put up ads for any new positions or vacancies in their investment bank. The best thing to do is to target hiring and marketing channels where investment bankers or fresh graduates are most likely to respond to the ad, including niche job boards, portals, social media platforms, college forums, noticeboards, etc. This would help the job seekers of the investment banking industry reach out to you, and you would have a good number of applications to comb through.

Reviewing and Screening Each Candidate

Candidates always have a variety of skills to offer. Before you decide which ones to interview, go through their resumes, which portray the complete picture of their skills and qualifications. Candidates with impressive educational backgrounds and tons of experience working with big companies are more likely to bring success to the organization. The candidate’s work and leadership experience, skills, interests, qualifications, and certifications will undoubtedly place them at the top of the list.

Several skills make for a competent and talented investment banker. For starters, they should have entrepreneurial skills and intellectual capabilities that help them oversee their roles and responsibilities. Make sure to have a list of desired skills ready before starting the review process.

Conducting Interviews with Shortlisted Candidates

Once you have screened the best candidates from the lot, you can start lining up interviews with them. Apart from receiving applications online, you can also conduct on-campus recruitment sessions and interview the best applicants they have to offer. This way, you will be able to land the best graduates early on, and your investment bank will profit from young talent.

Even in big companies, it mostly happens that the managers don’t ask the right questions or interview the candidate with a solid strategy or game plan. Some of the tips they overlook include asking about their knowledge of the banking industry and problem-solving or technical knowledge questions that would test their technical aptitude. The more concise your candidate answers, the more confident they are.

Setting Up a Final Round of Interviews

Once the preliminary interviews are out of the way, you can shortlist the candidates and conduct a final round of interviews. You can have the candidates be interviewed at the bank in this round.

This round is much more extensive than the last, and most of the larger investment banks have managers and executives interview each candidate. So, the candidate might be interviewed by three to four people of different ranks.

Sending Out Offers

Once the final round of interviews is complete, you will have a much smaller pool of selected candidates to whom you can send out job offers. You can design their offers based on their prior experience and how you predict their performance and contribution to the bank. Even when you get the right candidate, it is always wise to keep in touch with the other suitable applicants to have a talent pool available in case of a vacancy.

Starting Onboarding and Training

Candidates hired after an extensive recruitment process can do better with a training program to gain the required skills to fulfill their job responsibilities.

These training programs typically last for six weeks, and you can encourage applicants to develop relevant skills and take part in networking for better opportunities. It also helps them mingle with other employees in the firm. Working under the senior employees would minimize the difficulty they might face in their initial days. 

Training programs for investment banking candidates include a deep emphasis on financial modeling and other core elements, such as accounting fundamentals, financial statement analysis, corporate valuation, IPO process, etc. This training is covered in person and a few networking events to make a clear route towards their banking structure.

Other Factors to Look for in a Potential Candidate

As a manager, you need to maintain a smooth conversation throughout the interview as it will get you clear insights into the candidate. You can start with educational and academic questions and proceed to analytical and problem-solving skills. Your question about their interpersonal skills to the work ethics they implement while working in a firm might be the right approach to finding the right person for the job. 

Ideally, the right candidate would have good communication and networking skills. For example, suppose you come across an experienced investment banker. In that case, you can rely on their experience in the industry, knowledge of banking products and processes, and networking skills, which can be a significant asset for your investment bank.

The hiring procedure also depends on the individuals’ qualifications and differs according to the level. For instance, an undergraduate degree from a business school with a business or finance major is preferred for an investment banking position. If the candidate has an MBA or relevant diplomas or certificates in corporate finance, they might also be a good fit. 

An individual with an internship with a top firm would be a perfect fit for your company as they will be already aware of the banking culture. A significant part of one’s professional life depends on networking and socializing, so you have a suitable candidate on your hands if your candidate has these skills.

Regardless of the position that you’re recruiting for in an investment bank, a hiring manager has a significant role in deciding how successful new hire will be. There are various areas in which you can test candidates and gauge their aptitude and skills, and capabilities. Understanding the investment banking recruiting process is the key to hiring suitable and talented candidates for key positions.

Start Recruiting for Your Investment Bank Today

Hiring for an investment bank can be challenging, but can help you out.

Whether you’re using our extensive network of specialized recruiters or using our AI sourcing software, we have the recruiting solutions that can help you find top talent.

To learn more about how you can hire top candidates within the financial modeling niche and what you can do to optimize your hiring efforts, contact us today !


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