What are your chances of getting a graduate job in a European investment bank now?

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Investment banks are focusing on juniorisation, but the graduate pipeline has not been spared from cuts. While more graduates are still expected to be hired this year than in 2015, recruitment targets were reduced in the final quarter as investment banks’ business plunged.

Based on the figures released by European banks this month, graduate recruitment has remained robust, though. However, converting your internship is more difficult in some banks than others.

Take Barclays - it hired 1,000 interns across the group in 2015, and 800 graduates were taken on. Assuming most interns received offers, the conversion rate looks high. At UBS, though, 820 interns were ushered in throughout 2015, but just 475 graduates were brought in. Even assuming a 100% conversion rate, just 57% of interns could have received a full-time offer.

Deutsche Bank said it hired 766 graduates last year – its highest figure for five years – but didn’t break out intern numbers. Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland said it hired 250 graduates in 2015 across the group. Hark back to 2009, and RBS was hiring 400+ graduates for its investment bank alone – times have changed.

Like for like figures weren't available for Barclays, but in 2014 it hired 400 analysts into its investment bank and brought in 590 interns.

By now, of course, investment banks will have filled their graduate programmes for the class of 2016, but City banks shaved off a collective 280 jobs from their analyst recruitment targets in the final three months of the year.

What does it take to get in now? “I’d say 80% of our class were from LSE, Imperial, Oxford or Cambridge and most had interned in various banks,” says one incoming 2016 analyst at bulge bracket bank in the City.

So far, so predictable – investment banks are hiring graduates who not only have impeccable grades, but who have completed Spring Weeks and summer internships, as well as shown evidence of entrepreneurship.

However, Logan Naidu, CEO of recruiters Dartmouth Partners, says that increasingly banks are trying to diversify the talent pool away from the “LSE drones”.

“Investment banking is now more about developing relationships. They’ve recruited a lot of technical people, which is important, but they’re also being more flexible with which universities they target – hiring people who have top grades, but who show evidence of being able to build relationships,” he says.

Photo: Aleem_khan/iStock/Thinkstock

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