#1 In Tentacle Selection: 300,000 People Applied To Goldman Sachs In The Past Two Years; 4% Were Hired

Tyler Durden's picture

It may not be quite the entire 1% but it is close. In his presentation to Bank of America on Tuesday, when discussing "talent (or tentacle) retention, Lloyd Blankfein disclosed this whopper: "Almost 300,000 individuals applied for full-time positions at Goldman Sachs for 2010 and 2011. We hired fewer than 4% of that population, and, though most had multiple offers, nine out of ten people offered a job with us accepted." In other words, it is more difficult to get into Goldman than Harvard. As a reminder, the US labor force has 140 million people at last count (or, coming from the BLS, rough propaganda guess). In other words, more than 0.2% of the entire US employed workforce (because let's face it, Goldman won't hire anyone without prior experience) applied to work at Goldman Sachs. And by the retention rating, it seems that the number one dream for every job seeker in the US is to get the fat letter from Goldman HR. Speaking of training, we also get this pearl from Lloyd: "This year, we expect to provide 800,000 hours of training to our people, an average of 25 hours per person." Just what is it that these people are taught so intensely?

Some other tidbits on Goldman's recruiting policies:

  • To state the obvious, this is a human business, done person to person. A client relationship is only as strong as the Goldman Sachs professionals managing that relationship
  • As a result, the single most important thing we can do to enhance the value of our business is to continue to hire the best and brightest people from around the world. And, once they get into Goldman Sachs, we want to do everything we can to ensure they have productive and stimulating careers.
  • Almost 300,000 individuals applied for full-time positions at Goldman Sachs for 2010 and 2011.
    We hired fewer than 4% of that population, and, though most had multiple offers, nine out of ten people offered a job with us accepted.
    Since 2001, we have hired more than 40,000 professionals to work at the firm.
  • The average tenure of a Managing Director and Vice President is about 12 years and 7 1?2 years, respectively.
    The average tenure for a partner is 15 1?2 years.
  • Our commitment to attract talented professionals doesn’t end with recruiting; we commit significant resources to their continued development.
  • This year, we expect to provide 800,000 hours of training to our people, an average of 25 hours per person.
    My confidence in our future is rooted in large part in our continued ability to recruit, train, and retain outstanding people

Some other amusing factoids:

  • It is important for Goldman Sachs to understand the numerous challenges confronting our clients and adapt our business to better serve them in the new regulatory environment.

Dear Goldman client: meet Thomas Stolper.

It gets even funnier: here is Lloyd lamenting the blow up of the firm headed by his predecessor: MF Global:

  • In our conversations with clients, they have expressed several concerns on the impact to their businesses of new margin requirements, potentially lower market liquidity and wider spreads, as well as the consequences of making inventory more expensive to hold, and therefore, less available.

Does Goldman have a thing for polygamy?

  • For example in Salt Lake City, we now have more than 1,000 professionals working across many divisions.

On Lloyd's use of the corporate jet:

  • Our people place a huge premium on spending time with clients around the world.
  • In the last year, I spent more than half of my time outside of the office meeting with clients.
  • Through these discussions, I gain a better understanding of emerging trends, the challenges that our clients face, the critical objectives they are focused on, and the role we can play to help them.

On Goldman's ongoing stealth MBO:

  • Since the beginning of 2010, we have repurchased more than $9 billion of common stock or roughly 15% of our capital base relative to 2009 year-end levels.
  • We have also bought back close to 70% of the share count that was issued during the height of the crisis.

Last but not least, the core Goldman "trading" mantra:

  • Each day, our clients seek advice and financing; they need someone to take the other side of a transaction in order to help them hedge risk

And there you have it: Goldman, in its own words, admits it is always on the other side of the trade from their clients. It's called "making markets" or so Lloyd will tell Carl Levin under oath...

Full Blankfein remarks and full Goldman BAC presentation.