Why Wall Street is losing the talent war – and how to turn It around
Amongst the number of hurdles facing Wall Street – from capital requirements, to new trading rules, to its still-sullied global reputation – the most influential, at least over the long-term, may be its newfound inability to consistently attract top talent.
Each year, management consulting firm Oliver Wyman puts together a comprehensive report identifying the major “blind spots” that may impede growth in the banking sector. “Talent management” was right there in bold.
The case for why top-tier graduates are more interested in careers in technology and consulting is rather obvious. Compensation is down, political and media scrutiny has intensified, and compliance and risk management has become a bear. But the firm offers some real-world suggestions on how to make Wall Street a sunnier place to work, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
First proposal: take some talent management responsibilities away from human resources and hand them to senior leadership, making them more responsible for “talent outcomes” – i.e. turnover etc. Judging by our comment section, this would make aspiring bankers very happy.
One of the biggest problems on Wall Street is that the person on the bottom rung is, in essence, a tool for the people one or two rungs above. What do they care if you burn out? Putting leaders on the “first line” of talent management – and making them personally responsible for the metrics that go along with that – could be a significant help. Right now “nurturing talent” isn’t on many to-do lists. It’s toward the top in other sectors.
Other ideas include providing a greater variety of work experiences – something banks don’t often – and subjugating Wall Streets’ ego-driven culture (good luck).
The list is a good start, and one that’s certainly needed. Three top U.S. graduate schools – Harvard, Yale and Cornell – are seeing larger groups of graduates head to Silicon Valley over Wall Street. Just more than one-quarter of Harvard Business School grads took jobs in finance last year, down from 35% in 2012. Roughly 18% went into the tech field, up from 12% a year earlier. On the undergraduate level, consulting has overtaken finance as the top destination.
We’ve collected a list of questions recently asked of business school students who have interviewed for sales and trading positions at large banks. Some are behavioral, but most are aimed to test your market knowledge. How would you do?
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Buzz Around the Office
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