Relentless interviews: the new reality for banking jobs in 2023
If you want a new banking job in 2023, you're going to have to interview. And you're going to have to interview a lot. As banks become more uncertain about hiring decisions, recruiters say that multiple interviews are increasingly being deployed as a delaying tactic. Sometimes they're a prelude to a hiring decision. Sometimes, they're not.
Meridith Fiedler Dennes, COO at New York search firm Harrison Rush Group, says some candidates are going to a succession of interviews only to discover that "the firm is not actively looking to bring anyone on in the near future." Headhunters in the UK have similar tales of woe. "I’ve got a whole lot of people interviewing like crazy, but there’s a not a lot going on," says one." Another London recruiter, says "processes have frozen" and "decision-making has slowed." Hiring is happening, but no one is busting a gut.
The exception to the lassitude seems to be when it comes to hiring from Credit Suisse, where something akin to a feeding frenzy is underway. "The spillout from Credit Suisse has created its own hiring momentum," says Russell Clarke at Figtree Search. Across the world, rival banks are all over Credit Suisse staff, trying to work out who's good, and who's not - but this too involves a lot of interviewing without much to show for it (yet).
The spanner in the hiring works is - needless to say - the collapse of Credit Suisse and SVB and worries about future rate rises, each of which have added hesitation to the process. Nonetheless, headhunters on both sides of the Atlantic stress that hires are getting over the line.
Yesterday's results from Jefferies (shown below) offer reasons for optimism. Even if investment banking revenues were down, things weren't going too badly for US banks' sales and trading business in the three months to February 2023: fixed income sales and trading revenues were up dramatically on last year. The real question now is what happened from mid-March.
Jefferies' Q1 results:
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