Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gravity of the economic downturn - as seen through the recruiting lens

I was in class yesterday evening (at our Gleacher center), and ran into some heated recruitment discussion. A couple of my colleagues, who I know are the among the smarter ones here, were really disappointed with the results of recruitment. They had done well in their first round interviews, gone on to second rounds, and now got rejects for seemingly not so palatable reasons. Take for example the story of one top 3 consulting firm's (let's leave it unnamed) San Francisco office. My friends I mentioned above had interviewed for that office, but they didnt get an offer. The interviewers had no complaints, but said that they didnt hire anyone out of the 25 people who showed up for second round. 0 out of 25 isnt good at all. As my friend said, "it was a colossal waste of their money and our time". I totally understand what he meant.

Take another big pharma company, seemingly they are hiring just one person across US for their Management Development Program. In another year, I would guess they surely hire many times more. Tech companies arent in the place where I would think they might have been. One of the biggest tech firms is telling people to sign their offers if they cant wait for a few more days for second round stuff to be coordinated (exact words - "sign up your offer given the current market situation"). This kinda talk isnt something tech companies are used to, infact the same firm didnt tell me to sign my offer when I was waiting for my internship second round logistics to work out (at that point they used to say "we are working very hard to get you to our offices as soon as we can for second round")

Finally, I am seeing many people accept their summer offers this week, since most on-campus recruiting is over at GSB (very few still going on). This is both good and bad, bad because they probably wanted something better (or different), and good because they can get back to living a normal life, and not the high stress recruiting life. Bottomline - the reality is grim, but I am sure most of us can fight our way through the process and get something we enjoy (even if it is not the best of best). After all, this year, for every person who gets a job at GSB, there are 5 equally capable people who would have got the same job in another good year.

1 comment:

MaybeMBA said...

Hear, hear! Thanks for the honesty. I get so tired of the unfounded positive spin. Fact is, getting a job right now is far more a matter of luck than skill, unfortunately. Glad you're posting again.