Hiring Firms Expectations & Offer Timelines

Investment banking recruiters and more have seen the changes in hiring firms timelines throughout their hiring process.

In previous blogs, I have addressed the idea of “Radio Silence” or others may call it patience. Radio silence is the time that passes when you are waiting to see if a firm is going to want to move forward. But today, I want to address patience as to waiting for the offer. It appears that even though a firm has made the decision to move forward, it is taking a longer time to put together the offer. This is not a case where a firm is slowing the process down for no reason. From my experience by being and knowing other investment banking recruiters, it is simply because things are taking much longer these days.

The Expectations That Investment Banking Recruiters Have Seen: Junior to Senior Instantly

What used to take 90 days is now taking close to six months, from first interview to start date. This is especially true for teams with many diverse interests that must be satisfied on either side of the hiring equation: company and candidate. Any good investment banking recruiters will tell you that junior bankers are being approved at a much higher level in order to get an offer signed off on. It almost seems that everyone getting hired is being approved at senior level. All of this before a hiring manager could hire a junior banker, or even an analyst, with the stroke of the pen. Now firms are requiring higher level pro-formas and projections for the junior bankers. As for the senior managing director level bankers, these are not only being approved at the local level; but if there is a holding company or a parent company, they are approving the bankers too.

You Can’t Run Away From Your Past: Be Upfront With Investment Banking Recruiters and Hiring Managers

Compliance responsibilities, background checks, credit checks, fingerprints – all of these steps are taking longer with the results being carefully considered.  In years past, an infraction on your U4, which was not financially motivated, used to be a “slam dunk” to get around. Medical bankruptcies used to be very easy to explain away too.  Today everything must be documented, paper trailed and investigated before a firm can decidedly say “yes” to hiring a candidate.  Also, if the firm is an actual Commercial Bank, the requirements are stricter to get hired.  The point to note is that if you think there could be something in your background analysis, be upfront with your investment banking recruiters (if you have one) or directly with the hiring manager.  If you are upfront, the manager will respect that and evaluate what is the proper procedure for dealing with compliance and getting you hired.  Surprises do not work. Rest assured that anything and everything will come out from these extensive background checks.

So, What Does This Mean To You? 

First, the timing of the offer is much slower. Secondly, the bankers are being introduced to higher level employees at the new firm; thus, making the process slower, as most firms are requiring 100% buy-off on any new candidates. Third, and most importantly, do not lose faith in the process. If a firm states they are going to offer, realize that the process is going to usually be slower than they may represent to you. It’s just the way business is done in the year 2019. It has no reflection on you, or the firms desire to have you join them. Remember: no one is deliberately slowing the process, it is just going through more channels than what you, the candidate, is expecting. So, any exceptional investment banking recruiters would encourage you to have patience. You will be justly rewarded like my candidate that is starting this week who had been waiting for an offer for over a month.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected].

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.