We were really interested to read Laura Noonan’s article in the FT about Deutsche Bank’s new approach to recruitment of graduates for investment banking. Deutsche has decided to use social media channels to ‘hunt out’ the ‘best’ students by scouring through the social media networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and others, of students at 30 UK colleges they focus on for recruitment. In 2016 they trialled this methodology successfully and identified 250 potential candidates.
What’s significant about this is why they are using this approach. It is clear that the traditional methods of attracting the top talent are not working satisfactorily. The investment banks are not being inundated with applications as they once were and top quality graduates appear to be favouring other sectors, such as tech and social media. It appears that the media obsession with banker bashing, the long hours associated with investment banking and the diminished probability of large payouts which the industry once offered, have all taken their toll.
This new approach, however, is not without flaws. Deutsche are concentrating their search for potential candidates through LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn is the tool which is used ubiquitously by business people, however, students find it difficult; the vast majority have limited experience of how to use it and how to network. When we speak to scholars at colleges and universities, we find that many are anxious about displaying personal information on their LinkedIn profile as they are unsure as to who might see it; in particular, they are concerned about openly displaying their ambitions to their peers. Students are also very wary about what they share on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. They have been warned numerous times by school and university to be careful and are armed with cautionary tales. What employers might discover is that the candidates they find this way are students who wanted to go into a careers like banking anyway. The potential danger is that the employees they find through these channels are not desperate for a banking career but just willing to give it a go. As soon as the going gets tough, as it invariably does in investment banking, then they are more likely to leave, causing a recruitment headache down the line. By focussing only on these channels you can miss a lot of talent.
At Kloodle, we are working with a number of major companies to build their talent pipeline over the long term. By engaging with students at an early stage through our social media channels, such as mentoring groups and Kloodle Badges , there is ample opportunity to explain what the career in, say, banking, or even cardiovascular surgery , entails and what the people look like. Companies can develop trusted relationships to help them to identify those candidates who understand exactly what they need to do to follow that specific journey. This way the corporates open up access to a wider pool of diverse talent, including a demographic which would previously never have considered careers like investment banking.