You don’t need a degree from a top university to work for a top bank

By Nick Lambe – Managing Director, Links International

Human Resources Online recently approached me with regards to a comment about Goldman Sachs’ new interview process that allows candidates from any schools, not just Ivy League schools, to apply for a job with the bank.

To read the article in which I was quoted, click here.

Historically, Goldman Sachs would conduct interviews for undergraduates on campus at the most elite universities. Now, however, aside from on-campus interviews, the bank is moving towards a more innovative recruitment experience, using a video interview platform, whereby candidates can pre-record their interview from wherever they are. This is in fact a similar video interview platform to what we use at Links (see Links Digital Interviews) and it has proven very successful. We not only offer this technology to our clients, in order to reduce their time to hire, but we also use it internally to recruit staff for Links (see Work With Us).

In Goldman’s case, the new approach is opening up more doors to more candidates, including those who are not at the “target” schools. This could be as a result of students from top universities often wanting to move job after a couple of years, rather than staying with the firm long-term.

In my opinion, by introducing this new initiative, primarily the bank is looking to diversify its talent pool and the potential thinking strategies for its future leaders. They are therefore looking for the way people think, not just people who are smart and can get into the top schools. Neither Harvey Schwartz, the CFO for the group, nor Group COO Gary Cohn went to Ivy League universities; they went to Rutgers University and The American University respectively. It seems, therefore, that there is a strong belief that you don’t need to have a top degree from a top university to run a bank.

I don’t think that we should necessarily read too much into this with respect to Goldman’s talent pool, however. They will still only accept the best of the best, but this talent pool will have a more diverse background and therefore this may challenge the status quo within the bank and potentially produce better results.

I’d be interested to see how this new technology works for the bank and what effect a wider talent pool will have on the productivity and talent retention of the bank.

If you’d like to speak to us about how we can take your career to the next level, please contact us now.