Human Resource Planning in Goldman Sachs

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The success of any business entity is directly linked to the performance of those who work for that business. Underachievement can be a result of workplace failures. Hiring the wrong people can be costly so it is important that human resource planning is handled correctly. Thus giving the selected workers the skills and competencies the business needs to succeed.  

"The overall aim in HR planning process is to manage human resources in line with the organizations goals. The system is a combination of plans, policies, procedures and best practices. Or in other words adaptation with the changing environment such as new technologies, flexible work hours and new HR management trends."


Human resource planning process has four main components.

- Environmental Analysis

The first step is to understand the concept of HR management. It is very important that HR managers are aware of his external and internal environment. Information on external environment includes status of the economy, industry, labour market information technology, competition, unemployment rate, skills available etc.

Internal data required will be short term and long term plans of the organization, current and future strategies and the status of the HR system currently applied.

- Forecasting HR demand

The aim of this is to determine the number and the type of employees needed in the future. It should consider the past and current organizations structure and the future direction of the organization. A system which is widely used is the bottom-up forecasting method.

- Analysing supply

An organization can hire employees from two main sources. These are internal and external sources. Employee performance index is one main method of how an organization finds employees internally. This will keep a record of employee performance, experience, education and special skills. On the other hand a forecast has to make on the number of employees required from the labour market or the external source.

- Reconciliation and planning

The final step of the HR planning process is to develop action plans based on the information gathered and the available analysis. The main criteria are that these recommendations have to acceptable with the top management as well as the employees as well."

(Robert L. Mathis 2006)

So by doing human resource planning, the organization projects its likely demand for personnel with particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), and compares that to the anticipated availability of such personnel in the internal or external labour markets.

Generally when new staff is interviewed the Interviewer needs to match two key aspects.

- Person-Job fit (in terms of duties and responsibilities)

- Person-Organization fit (In terms of culture and values)

The question arises when the selected workers are put to the test. This is the practical work. How well they measure up to the challenges of the job and their skills and competencies. To select the best candidate from a pool of applicants is a hard task. For this the method used by most organizations is 'interviews'. It's important that the role of the interviewer has to be that of a unbiased and a person with HR specialization. It is said that 'hire hard manage easy' or 'good training will not make up for bad selection'. In terms of training many top companies use a system called 'Systematic Training Process'. In this method new staff as well as all the existing staff will be trained. It wills firstly asses the training needs. Design the programme. Deliver the set training and lastly evaluate the results.

In terms of staff performing up to expectation it is important that there should be a structured reward system in place so that staff is motivated to perform more. An economic reward that every worker receives is significant in 3 major ways.



Growth motivational

Such performance related pay structures will make the worker work more and the productivity of the company will be higher. In terms of monetary rewards Basic pay, Incentives and Benefits will play a key important role.

Another best practise will be Job Evaluation. It will enable companies to;

Address quality issues

assess training needs of the staff

provide unbiased promotions and rewards system

Calibrate external market pricing efforts

Ensure consistency job sizing across the company by minimising conflicts when staff are transferred or work together in teams.

Generally there are two main types of which companies evaluate staff. Those are analytical and Non analytical.


It is said that tough time brings out the best in some. Here below we can see how Goldman Sachs recruits to their organization and evaluate the new associates. The staffs are highly motivated as well as the reward system is very competitive. And it's a company that believes good training counts for the profits.

So as per the statement made on the question is correct and the outlined above are few of the best practices that are followed by the successful companies in the market.

"Goldman Sachs' culture reflects more than a structure. It is a statement of values. Their commitment to integrity, teamwork, excellence, meritocracy and innovation enables them to build their relationships, with clients and with colleagues, on honesty and trust. It drives their ability to deliver extraordinary client service and to generate superior long-term financial performance for their shareholders. Their values inspire them to give back to the community through volunteerism, philanthropy, scholarships and outreach. Each of them in the firm takes pride in their role as a steward of the Goldman Sachs legacy. They understand that their assets are their people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore."


"To Join Goldman Sachs a financial background is not necessary. Whatever their discipline or major, Goldman Sachs encourage them to apply, provided that they share an interest in the financial markets and have demonstrated strong academic performance and professional drive."

"Their new associate class comprises people with prior experience in financial services as well as those from a variety of industries and professional backgrounds. They look for people who are interested in the financial markets, business and how organizations work. They should be able to demonstrate a track record of success, innovation and creativity in their prior work experience. Goldman Sachs new associates typically have two to five years of work experience, an advanced degree or an MBA, or both. As a new associate, they will be an integral part of Goldman Sachs business and may quickly assume product or client responsibilities."

The recruitment process of Goldman Sachs "is built upon their belief that a candidate understands the Goldman Sachs culture is as important as the skills and experience she or he brings to the firm. The candidate's objectives should be to gain insight into Goldman Sachs culture and clarify why they want to work at Goldman Sachs, what they might want to do at the firm and why they would be well suited to do it".


"The interview process allows the candidate to meet many of Golden Sachs people. Submitting an online application is the first step towards a career with Goldman Sachs. The more they know about the candidate, the better they can match him/her with a suitable career opportunity. If an appropriate position becomes available, they will contact the candidate to arrange for an interview."

"The first interview will be with the regions or divisions the candidate has selected on their application. Its purpose is to help them get to know the candidate and determine his/her suitability for a particular area of their business, and to clarify questions about Goldman Sachs. The second round interview will be more technical in nature, and we will continue to assess the compatibility of candidate with the firm."


"The minute an individual join the firm they will participate in formal firm wide orientation. Through Goldman Sachs University they will have access to a robust, 100-day Experienced Hire program that is designed to give them the tools to do well at the firm."

"As a new associate, they will be given the tools needed for professional growth and career advancement. They are expected to develop product-specific and function-specific skills and interact closely with senior professionals and clients. The new opportunities and challenges they will encounter along the way will prepare them for the next level."


"Goldman Sachs University is created to help the recruits at each stage of their career. New associates often participate in a 10-week induction and training program. Programs are developed in a variety of innovative and challenging formats to guide them through their career, everything from leading a client presentation for the first time to taking on new management responsibilities. Their personalized curriculums are designed to help recruits find courses for different stages of their career."

Performance Evaluation

"Associates are formally evaluated as part of the firm's annual Performance Review Process, which includes a self-assessment as well as input from peers, managers and internal business partners. They will be participating in the Personal Development Planning process. Based on formal and informal feedback and individual interests, this process helps people at Golden Sachs to establish career goals and identify developmental opportunities within the firm."

"The associate experience fosters the opportunity to connect with senior business leaders who can help guide their career. Here, the recruits will build their professional network and interact with colleagues across divisions and regions. We offer mentor programs, employee networks, clubs and access to external professional organizations."

On the job training

"As a member of the Goldman Sachs team, the new recruit will interact directly with clients and work side-by-side with the experts in the firm in a supportive and collaborative environment."

"He/she will quickly become an integral member of the team with his/her own responsibilities. They will interact directly with clients and work side-by-side with the experts in the firm, supervise analysts and work closely with vice presidents and managing directors."

Career Development

"Regardless of which area or business the recruit joins, the associate role is a key pipeline for leadership positions. Because Goldman Sachs has a flat organizational structure, it is difficult to identify a typical career path. However, if they're looking for a new challenge or the opportunity to explore a different business at the firm, Golden Sachs offers a formal mobility process that many of the associates can take advantage of."


From the above it can be said that Golden Sachs has found the correlation between the functions of recruitment and selection with job performance.