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S. G. Cowen: New Recruits
1. In the hiring process candidates are rated on a number of key decision factors. Cowen uses an evaluation form which includes areas like: commitment to firm, judgment/maturity, work ethic, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and technical skills. Along with completing the evaluation form, Cowen looks for fit with these energetic self-starters. They want to make sure the new hire will fit into the culture of the firm.
The evaluation form is completed during the Super Saturday interview process. The senior management will also, during the interview, try to determine fit with the firm. They may ask a candidate from the Midwest, “How do you think living and working in New York will be?” or a person with young children, “How will you balance your work and family life?” These will help determine fit. Is this candidate able to survive the rigors of being a first year associate?
2. I think that Cowen uses a pretty well rounded approach to their criteria. In my mind fit equals emotion and emotion certainly plays a large part in the hiring process for any company. When interviewing someone, the interviewer might be thinking: do I like this person, could I work with this person, do I want this person working for me, how well this person will get along with his/her co-workers, etc. Cowen has tried to take out some of the emotion with the evaluation form. It allows the senior management to assign a “value” to the different criteria. This helps to screen the candidates a little more efficiently. Unfortunately, emotion sill enters the fold as well. As the senior management is accessing each candidate, one managers interpretation of a skill or personality, may not be consistent with another’s. Example: One manager may perceive a person with an accent as having “Fair” communication skills and another manager may not see the accent as an issue – stating that the communications skills are “Good” or “Excellent”....
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