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Case Report: Recruiting at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co.
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Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. is one of the largest finance groups working since 1979. This company has come a long way in dealing, managing, and promoting big businesses all over United States. This paper is a case report in which will analyze and assist the recruitment department of the company to hire the best associates from the given candidates list.
There are number of requirements and necessities for qualifying as an associate for the company. The candidates should have the enthusiasm to grow, demonstrate the ability to take on responsibilities and take initiatives to achieve the goals of the company. The company values both teamwork and diversity among employees. Hence, it is crucial that potential employees should be comfortable in working in a team setting, acting as leader, managing people and taking initiatives. Moreover, having excellent writing and research skills will reduce the chances of errors and allow clients to understand the provided information. Overall, these KSAO’s are potential requirements for the job of associates. These skills and abilities will not only help in achieving the goals at BHC, it will also provide an opportunity to grow in the corporate ladder and become a managing director. In addition, these skills will be quite handy as it will allow the associates to organize their arguments into a plan, communicate with directors, manage, and motivate team members, negotiate with buyers, and develop client relationships.
The recommendations made in this paper are according to the criteria of KSAO’s. In addition, this report identifies, justifies and ranks the importance of each KSAO. Moreover, the criteria chosen will act as a recruitment standard for candidates. Finally, according to those candidates’ education background and working experience, this report identifies and selects the top five candidates, who have the potential and will competent at this job.
Recruiting at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co.
Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. (BHC) is one of the largest corporate finance groups in the United States. It was established in 1975 and quickly turned into one of the leading financial companies to cater to the banking needs of middle-market companies. BHC’s core competencies included mergers and acquisition, private finance and valuations/advisory assignments. As a part of it, strategy BHC’s goal was to become one of the top investment banks in the middle market. This goal was supported by its employees and management. Moreover, the growth of BHC was supplemented by its keen focus on the middle market. It focused on providing highly customized service to its clients.
Another key element in BHC strategy was unquestionable commitment to its four founding principles that included:
1.Delivering quality services
2.Conducting extensive research
3.Not giving false hopes
4.Recruiting the best people
These four founding principles were the key building blocks of the company. Moreover, the corporate culture at BHC was quite collegial and team-oriented. This was marked by mutual respect for each other at the company. In addition, BHC looked forward to sustaining their growth by improving on their marketing and areas functional expertise.
With the growth of company, BHC required employees that could become its future inspiration and build the company to achieve its goals. It needed employees who wanted to join the company for the long-term basis and eventually become an equity partner. Being an associate was a challenging job at BHC. However, it was the stepping-stone towards the corporate ladder. As a result, Kelly Katterhagen, the Vice president at Bowles Hollowell Corner & Co. is contemplating to identify outstanding candidates whom she can recommend to the Harvard Business School recruiting team. Ultimately, then the team could select the best-qualified candidates for interviews for the position of associates at BHC.
In order to have the best candidates, Katterhagen realized it is important to hire people who align with organizational culture, business strategies, and the job description. To achieve success in the recruitment process, the candidates should be equipped with the necessary Knowledge, Skill, and Abilities (KSAO’s) that fit the job requirement accurately (Heneman, Judge, Smith & Summers, 2010). As a part of the job requirement for associates, there are specific KSAO’s that are extremely important for the company and they should be kept in mind when selecting candidates for interviews.
To begin with, potential candidates should possess functional knowledge about the finance stream, as it is an important requirement to perform the job. Another reason is that it is an investment firm. Hence, it makes sense to hire individuals who belong to finance stream, as they would fit in the organizational design and structure. As the company is planning to increase its market share, it is important to have good marketing skills as well. This will help the company in the future for promotion in an effective way. It will also reduce its reliance on word of mouth.
In addition, potential candidate should possess excellent analytical and numerical skills. This is because, associates are required to perform extensive analysis of the company and interpret financial data. This extensive analysis can only be performed by a person who has the ability to interpret and design financial models. Furthermore, candidates should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills; because as a part of the job, associates are required to engage prospective clients by creating a marketing pitch; hence having interpersonal skills will be beneficial. Moreover, it will allow the associates to organize their arguments into a plan, communicate with directors, manage and motivate team members, negotiate with buyers, and develop client relationships.
Apart from that, being a team player is also a key criterion in the job. Since, BHC has a strong team-centered culture, it is imperative that the potential candidates possess this skill. This will allow the candidates to comfortably fit in the organization, foster team cohesion, and respect among employee. Moreover, having a prior team experience will allow the associates to manage employees, motivate them, and provide them with an opportunity to deal with strategical and management issues. Another key skill that candidates should have is good research and writing skills. This skill is also necessary, as the job requires drafting memorandums and other analytical reports therefore having excellent writing and research skills will decrease the chances of error.
Some of the other abilities that are necessary as a part of the job requirements includes, developing and managing client relationships and new business ideas. These skills are of utmost important because as BHC is an investment firm, a large part of revenue is generated through managing clients. Hence, it is crucial that potential associates possess these skills. In preparing those comprehensive documents and presentations, associates must have a clear focus and attention to detail. Moreover, as associates they have to learn the multitasking abilities in every aspect, such as training, recruitment and management. Therefore, they must have a good time management skills and flexibility in dealing with the changing job demands.
With the above-mentioned KSAOs listed and explained, it is also necessary to rank the importance of KSAOs so that Katterhagen can identify and recommend candidates to Harvard Business School recruiting team. The most important KSAO’s include functional knowledge about finance stream. This is paramount to becoming an associate and any candidate that does not possess functional expertise should be not selected for further screening. Furthermore, according to National Occupation Classification of Canada, the job position of associate falls under Financial Analyst. Based on the occupational classification table, it is necessary that candidates should have prior knowledge of financial areas. In particular, a degree of Masters in finance stream would be a plus point. Hence, the knowledge aspect is of foremost importance in KSAO’s that candidates should possess (HRSDC, 2011).
In addition to the financial knowledge, candidates should also be able to demonstrate their ability to conduct numerical analysis. This is the second most important skill that candidates should have. This is because, the job of associate is to interpret financial statements, develop financial models, perform data analysis, and write memorandum. Therefore, it is necessary that they have a knowledge and experience to perform this analysis and use appropriate tools to interpret the data.
On the third rank, it is important to have interpersonal skills and teamwork abilities. This skill is extremely important to BHC. Reason behind is that the associates and other colleagues are required to work together as a team, discuss alternatives, display professional presentations, and engage with clients. As a result, BHC prefers to have candidates with excellent interpersonal skills, in particular communication skills, presentation skills, and organizational skills. Additionally, having excellent writing and research skills is also crucial for the job and it is the fourth on the list. As a part of the job, associates are required to conduct thorough research on client companies, gather data, and write memorandums.
Lastly, candidates should demonstrate various abilities in their personalities. Therefore, having the ability to manage and motivate team members, develop and build client relationship, develop new business ideas, perform multitasking, handling pressure and taking initiatives are also a key component in job requirement of the associates. Moreover, having candidates that best fit the above mentioned KSOA’s would be a perfect fit for the organization and would able to yield positive outcomes for the company and long-term growth.
As Katterhagen, the candidates I would recommend to the Harvard Business School recruiting team are Glenn T. Mitchell, Mark Phillips, Jamie M. Palmer, Sean Flynn, and Christiana T. Wunderlich.
To begin with, Glenn T. Mitchell would be one of the individuals in the top five categories. The reason behind recommending him is his prior work experience. As a consultant at The First Boston Corporation, he engaged in corporate finance activities, merger acquisitions, and strategic planning for clients in different industries. He successfully managed and developed client relationships. He also executed professional presentations for investors and chaired negotiations between client and lenders.
All of the above skills show that he possesses strong analytical and interpersonal skills, extensive knowledge, and financial expertise in United States financial markets. Furthermore, while working at The Boston Consulting Group, he had gained hands on experience in writing, research, and recruitment process. In addition, he dealt with strategic and management issues and generated new business initiatives. Lastly, as part of varsity men’s basketball team, he has the ability to work in teams and demonstrate leadership. As a result, all the KSAOs he possesses are transferable skills, which BHC highly values. Moreover, he would better align with company culture and ideology.
The second candidate I would recommend would be Mark Phillips, his prior work experience at Lehman Brother as an analyst and his remarkable achievement of individually preparing & pitching strategy for $1.8 billion for Dutch family business explains a lot. He has the ability to do multitasking and work under pressure. Moreover, his specialization in mergers and acquisition will be extremely beneficial for the BHC. While working at Walt Disney he developed marketing strategy. Hence, these experiences significantly align with the BHC’s future growth strategies. Mark, through his prior experience, has displayed excellent interpersonal skills, teamwork abilities, financial and numerical analysis, and business development. In addition, he has demonstrated initiative responsibility, by building a business of his own. Lastly, he had managed and developed relationships while working for street project. Hence, he is also a strong candidate for the position of associate and will be likely to generate revenue to increase market share.
The third candidate I would recommend would be Jamie M. Palmer. Her previous working experience in the middle-market banking group enhanced her background knowledge related to BHC. She had teamwork experience and drafted a memorandum as an associate in corporate finance. Moreover, she has conducted an analysis of Fortune 500 companies, assisted in strategic planning, managed the bank’s lending relationships, identified new business opportunities, took initiatives to develop business proposals and managed people. Therefore, she possesses all the financial and functional knowledge of the job that would be a strong contender for the position of associate. Moreover, the skills demonstrated by her would also be beneficial in the future role of managing director.
Fourth candidate that I would recommend would be Sean Flynn. His prior three work experiences are all related to finance industry. This provides him the necessary tools to build a strong foundation for working at a financial group like BHC. He has conducted an analysis on mergers and acquisition. He has also developed comprehensive strategies to deal with business transactions. Moreover, he possesses excellent research skills, writing skills and teamwork ability. Through his time at Montgomery Securities, he took part in client management and negotiations. He also had served as a director of recruitment and training program. Therefore, his prior work experience reflects his strong ability to take on the role and lead the BHC in the right direction.
Fifth and the final candidate I would recommend to BHC would be Christiana T. Wunderlich. In her prior work experience, she has diagnosed problems, presented recommendations, and conducted extensive financial and numerical analysis for senior management. This shows that she has strong interpersonal and analytical skills. She was also responsible for the feasibility study of an $800 million joint venture in Czechoslovakia. Moreover, she drafted a package and negotiated with the Czechoslovakian government, which shows her ability to handle pressure, manage issues, and deal with clients. In addition, she led the establishment on national sales companies. Lastly, through her work she has demonstrated that she is a good writer and researcher as she had drafted reports for governments and clients.
The rest of the candidates should be rejected for the position of associate. Although the candidates who are rejected have a potential, but they lack in certain KSAO’s which are required for this job. The reasons behind the rejection of the candidates are as following: For Glaudius D. Thomas and Patrick D. O’Brien; they both come from a military background. Although few skills might be transferable, yet most of the KSAO’s would not match to BHC job requirements. For Rose Von Mehren, most of her experience showed her skills in implementing products development and marketing field. Hence, she may lack financial knowledge to assess the needs of BHC. In case of Pieter Van Der Meer, Winston S. Rutherford, and James D. Hennessey, they are fit for being an accountant based on their background and experience.
As for Christopher R. O’Neil, he had extensive financial experience, but he lacks the necessary interpersonal and communication skills that are necessary for the job. For John J. Marquez, he is a more fit for sales related job as his prior experience is geared toward sales and lack the necessary financial expertise for merger and acquisition assignments. For Jeffrey P. Nystrom, he has more experienced in operations and management information system hence the skills required at BHC does not align with his prior work experience. For Pierre Lacroix, his focus has been manufacturing and auditing work based on his past education and working background so he will not be the best candidate for BHC.
For Edward Bristol, his concentrations were finance and general management that is helpful, but his experience was more focused on Information technology and MIS, so he does not possess financial expertise. Finally, for John R. Lucas, he is a very good financial analyst but he lacks attention to detail as errors were found in the resume.
Therefore, Katterhagen should focus on recruiting qualified individuals who possess the relevant knowledge skill and abilities. Moreover, by hiring the people that match the relevant KSAO’s would provide an opportunity to BHC to develop, grow, and increase their market share in future.
Heneman, H., Judge, T., Smith, V., & Summers, R. (2010). Staffing Organizations, Canadian Edition. (2nd Ed.). McGraw-Hill Ryerson Higher Education.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Statistics Canada, (2011).National Occupational Classification 2011(971-1-100-20020-0). Data retrieved from website: http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2011/pdf/PrintableVersionNOC2011.pdf