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FAQs: Recruiting For Buyside And Lateral Positions

Recruiting for Buyside and Lateral Positions

This will be a working, living article with Q&A added consistently, if you have any questions you want us to address — please message and we will get back to you.

Q: What do you mean when you say Buyside firms and how do they generally recruit?
A: Generally Buyside = Private Equity, Growth Equity, Hedge Funds, Venture Capital, even Corporate Development & Crypto Roles. Headhunters generally provide the service of bringing talented analysts who want to work in these roles to these firms in the form of resume booklets and then they help set-up initial coffee chats and official interviews.

Q: I’m a 1st-year analyst, it is too early for me to recruit?
A: The typical Banking to Buyside process has historically gone like this (we hear this from many of our Morgan Stanley coaches and mentees):
Training at your new Investment Banking Analyst role starts and a couple weeks after training, On-Cycle recruiting for PE for 2 YEARS OUT starts. So our answer is NO not at all, ask yourself when you recruited for investment banking roles (back in the day) — did that seem too early?

Q: I’m a 2nd-year analyst, is it too late for me to recruit?
A: Not at all, you could recruit for a near-term start! The standard cycle is recruiting 2 years out, COVID has definitely messed up this timeline however you have to think why PE recruits so early — they want to prevent the formation of any bad habits hence they try to scoop analysts up ASAP. Also many 1st years recruit on the normal on-cycle so the most important part on your end is to figure out what type of firm you want to go to and what their recruiting cycle looks like.

Q: I’m happy where I am right now, but should I still care about looking for other opportunities?
A: The general idea is to have a plan — even if you’re happy right now, understand that most recruiting happens 1-2 years in advance. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you looking to stay in investment banking? What does a 5-10 year plan on your end look like?

Q: I have lower than a 3.6 GPA, will I not be able to recruit?
A: Depends on your relationships with headhunters. Headhunters are the ones that really control the process when it comes to who they show to their clients (Buyside firms). Generally for headhunters, they like to see above 3.6 however if you have a story around why your GPA is what it is, that might help.

Q: Is preparation necessary for PE?
A: Depends who you ask, how much did you prepare for your investment banking interviews? Being a banker = being a real estate broker. Being in Private Equity = being a real estate investor. You’re thinking in an advisory sense in one role and then being a full-on investor in the other. Just because you prepared for one and did well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re prepared for the other one as well.

Q: I’ve already recruited once, why should I take on help again?
A: There are ~17,000 Investment Banking Analysts in the US and ~2,600 Private Equity Associates meaning 15.3% make it to the Buyside — those are ANY PE Associate roles, not specifically Megafunds or Top-Tier Funds which would be EVEN MORE selective. HOWEVER, 95% of OfficeHours Mentees receive MULTIPLE Buyside Offers!

Q: How can OfficeHours help?
A: Depends on what you’re looking for. We can help you determine what’s a good fit, whether it be Private Equity, Growth Equity, Hedge Funds, Corporate positions — we have built out a variety of curriculums and our Bench of Coaches (400+) come with a variety of industry experience as you think through your career and what next steps would look like.

Q: Does OfficeHours provide Headhunting services?
A: No, we specifically focus on the PREP.

Q: What does timeline look like when it comes to Recruiting?
A: We expect many Headhunters to reach out beginning NOW to push for an On-Cycle 2024 Start. We have been preparing for On-Cycle 2024 over the last year or so, a GREAT TIME TO GET STARTED is during training.

Interested in learning more about OfficeHours and how a Career Coach can help you? Schedule a time to connect with a Coach here or Submit your Application directly here and we’ll be in touch!

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