SG Cowen: New Recruits Analysis

SG Cowen is a firm which was born when Societe Generale bought Cowen and Company in 1998 and is mainly rooted in Boston. Its main interest is to focus on emerging growth companies in two volatile but highly profitable areas, health care and technology. The case is mainly about the company’s recruiting issues.

SG Cowen has not invested on ‘On campus recruit’ because they didn’t have enough money to spend on that like other big competitors, JP Morgan and Goldman. They recruit employees in the early winter and spring of each year. SG Cowen also wanted to hire people from major ‘Top 10’ schools. However, considering their capital on hiring and presence, they enlarged the boundary to make ‘On campus recruiting’ to Top 25 schools. Through Super Saturday, they pick up four candidates to be considered to be hired.

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What are the key decision points used by S. G. Cowen in making hiring decisions? What is your evaluation of the process used by the firm? 

Their key decision points are extension to Top 25 schools for ‘On campus recruiting’ and focusing on informative talks. They had to compete with big firms like JP Morgan and Goldman, but it was hard to get the best students from the best schools before competitors got them. So it was enlargement of the candidate schools’ boundary to compete big, good name valued companies. They could even find good candidates who have high loyalty, commitment, and cultural fits from 11-25th schools. By having informative talk, they were able to attract applicants with good quality.

SG Cowen reduced the time and effort on making presentations and focused on the informative talk with applicants. They sent alumni to their alma maters. And they emphasized their firm’s advantage that workers would learn a lot from working and have high degree of exposure to clients, responsibilities, and entrepreneurship in Boutique Company.

What is your evaluation of the criteria used by this organization in making hiring decisions?

SG Cowen focuses on attitude and personality of applicants. They found what makes employees work well in the company is their personality like entrepreneurship, energy, and so on. And I fully agree with those criteria. Through my experience and knowledge, attitude and personality are the most important things in not only companies but also any other organizations. Abilities and skills can be improved while being educated and working. But it’s hard to change one’s attitude and personality. And it affects to productivity of the work. So I think this organization’s criteria to make hiring decisions are quite good.

Which two candidates would you select if you were a member of the recruiting committee? 

In my opinion Natalia Godlewska and Martin Street would have some critical issues. Natalia Godlewska has the highest GPA but lacks of ‘cultural fit’ and it does matter in the company because it can make a problem among employees. Martin Street is very ambitious and confident due to his military experience but he is involved to many companies so the possibility to choose another company is high if he gets accepted to not only SG Cowen but also others.

However, Ken Goldstein and Andy Sanchez are appropriate to SG Cowen. Although Ken Goldstein got married and has two kids so can’t work 24/7, he would work very well in SG Cowen because all the people who interviewed him liked him very much. It means co-workers would like to work with him. And he is very loyal and highly committed to this work. Andy Sanchez has lower results in school than others, but it was because of his work during the school for his brothers. That could be thought as he is dedicate to something he loves. He also has very good attitude with interviewers. So I would like to pick Ken Goldstein and Andy Sanchez.

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SG Cowen: New Recruits Analysis. (2016, Nov 12). Retrieved from