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Discuss about the case study of SG Cowen New Recruits Company.



Key decision points used by SG Cowen in making hiring decisions are:

  • Informational interviews
  • On-campus round
  • Super Saturday

Informational interviews-SG Cowen Company used this kind of decision to evaluate the candidates and look at their enthusiasm and seriousness. However, this decision was only used in order for them to get a rough perception about the candidate and not as one of the main final assessment criteria. This decision is neither very effective and nor fair because it is meant to favor the company only by offering them information about the candidate and no information about the company to the candidate. This argument is supported by the study made by Kramarin the year 2003 which also states that there should be open information sharing between an employer and the potential employee before they get involved in business. On the contrary, SG Cowen Company ensured that its candidates have a chance to learn more about the firm and also the recruitment industry of interest before they were interviewed. This therefore puts SG Cowen firm in a better position because it is able to share its information with the candidates, especially the information relating to its objectives and goals and that of the area to be interviewed on.

In addition to that, Rae the Human Resource Director of the company decided to assign a team of captains to schools where SG Cowen was involved with recruitment. This was done to ensure that all the interested candidates are in contact with the firm and to make sure that they were ready when need be. Rae also tried his level best to match each captain with his/her former school aiming for them to be alumni. By doing this, the potential SG Cowen’s candidates were able to have somebody who would guide them and be a role model or even a mentor for them. Therefore, this method of hiring decision is good and effective for SG Cowen Company because of their continued efforts to ensure that they have the right kind of candidates for their recruitment just as Minten, 2010 stated in his research.

On-campus round-This decision is meant only for the candidates who came from the campuses where SG Cowen had Core interviewing businesses with. There were three interviews conducted whereby the successful candidates from the first interview would proceed to the Super Saturday final hiring meeting. In these interviews, the interviewers were encouraged to make short notes or comment about the comments and the evaluation sheets that are provided to the candidates. SG Cowen uses this information in choosing the best candidates who will be proceeding to Super Saturday hiring meeting.

This also the stage where the Rae, the Human Resource Manager encourages his fellow interviewers to ask and analyze the candidate’s probability of changing his or her culture. They do this by asking the candidates whether they are ready to change their current home location and work somewhere else or change their lifestyle all together. Generally, this hiring decision is good for recruitment because it not only allows SG Cowen Company to evaluate the qualifications, interpersonal skills and communication skills of the candidates but also gives them a chance to meet the candidates face to face, evaluate their fitness and evaluate their ability to change culture.


Super Saturday-According to the company, this is usually the last step in the recruitment process. It is attended by the candidates who have passed the on-campus step successfully. This stage starts with a Friday evening dinner followed by six half-hour interviews and finally a lunch meeting where final hiring is done. This is the stage where the last decision on who is the best, worthy and qualified candidate for the job. This kind of hiring decision is very effective because of the interviews which are involving and thorough (Murray, 2005).

In conclusion, the company’s hiring decisions points and hiring process are good and effective for their work because they seem to be detailed and focusing on the company’s objectives (Bach and Edwards, 2013). The hiring process may be long and tiresome but it is worth all the effort because at the end of it all, they seem to get the perfect candidate for the hiring (Badawy, 2008).

Evaluation of Some Criteria Used By Firms When Making Hiring Decisions.

Different firms use different methods when hiring employees. Some of these methods are: conducting interviews- Some firms interview their candidates with an aim of getting first-hand information directly from them (Guest, 1997). Most of the times, they are able to get the exact character and general view of the employee in terms of their communication ways.

Asking for referees- Employee references-Generally, for every employer to make the right decisions on hiring a candidate, they have to counter check a potential employee’s past or previous work information (Naidu and Chand, 2014). However, this information is not reliable because it may be false or incorrect. Also the employer has to make contact with the stated referees to ensure that the information is correct. This process of contacting needs a lot of  patience and time in order for one to get any feedback which may not even be give or even when give it may be discouraging (Call for papers: Managing Human Resources in the Leisure Industry, 2009).

Doing what the candidates do-If employers want to get in touch with the candidates they desire, they not only have to do what they do but also go where they always go. This will enable one be able to socialize with them, know them in details and even know about their hidden talents, skills and knowledge.

Use of database information-This includes especially past online information that the candidate may have posted but did not have a chance to secure the desired job at that time. Therefore the current employers hope to find that information still useful to them so some firms look it up to see if the candidates qualify for their jobs. E.g. linked in website where candidates post their CVs and other information in hope of getting an employer.


Training of the candidates-Some firms chose to train a large number of candidates and at the end of the training examine them and choose the successful candidates. This means that they will be qualified in that field even though they will not be hired by the trainers. SG Cowen firm uses two criteria when making hiring decisions which are:

Use of interviews- The firm’s hiring decisions involve so many interviews which range from, informational interviews to on-campus interviews where two other sub interviews are conducted and lastly it is the super Saturday interview. In addition to that, there are short notes made during the interviews for reference as well as evaluation sheets which are meant for interviewers to make their comments about the candidate. However these written notes may not be solely or fully considered in the hiring process or as an evidence during the discussions because it may be biased and therefore may lead to unfairness in the candidate choosing (Bonias, 2009).  According to the case study, conducting interviews is the main method used by SG Cowen to hire its candidates. This kind of method is useful because it helps the interviewer get a direct reply on certain questions e.g. whether a candidate is ready to change their culture or location to work somewhere else.

Disadvantages of interviews

  • It relies mainly on the personal assessment of the interviewer and the kind of the notes and comments that they make. This therefore makes them less useful and unimportant to the practical activity of interviewing.
  • An interviewers’ perception of a candidate affect the usefulness of the interview and therefore not making it a reliable method for hiring.
  • It is a costly method of recruiting because it requires enough interviewers which means that the organization will incur personnel costs.
  • It limits the number of candidates to that of the interviewers. This does not seem fair because at most times, the candidates are more than the interviewers by far.

Advantages of Interviews

  • There is more in-depth collection of data and analysis
  • The candidate is able to give more explanations to their responses
  • Interviews are less costly
  • It is able to capture the verbal and non-verbal ques from the candidate
  • Offers the interviewer control of the candidate in order for them to be focused.
  • Body language, emotions and facial expression can be captured easily.

Employee references-From the case study, SG Cowen uses this criteria to hire its candidates in the last hiring meeting during Super Saturday event. Nevertheless, this criteria is cheap because the employer just incurs the cost of calling only or sending an email. In addition to that they require very little commitment from the employer therefore they save time.

Two Candidates That I Would Choose


Natalya Godlewska

From the given information, Natalya has an average GPA grade but when compared to others, it is the best. She also has a degree in finance from an Eastern European university and has some experience in teaching finance because she did some finance teaching program at Cornell Business School. Natalya attended her informational interview and emerged one of the top candidates from Cornell to proceed for Super Saturday interviews. Natalya is knowledgeable in analytical skills, has high understanding of financial markets, determined, ambitious and hardworking and also received a lot of positive comments from referees. This made her Super Saturday interviews to go very well and positively.

Despite having all these good qualities, Natalya had some weaknesses. E.g. her English was not perfect and this would one time or the other put away employers or even cause difficulties when working with other employees. On the contrary, an interviewer brought up the idea that Natalya’s imperfect English may be an issues when working or conversing with her colleagues but definitely not with the customers because most of them claim that SG Cowen’s employees were fast speakers. Nevertheless, she was one of the best candidates to choose from among the other three.

Andy Sanchez

From the case study, Andy had already obtained a degree in Economics from the University of California and was studying MBA at the University of Southern California. In addition to that, he was a successful entrepreneur who dealt with students and teaching therefore had some experience in teaching. Andy was said to be very enthusiastic and personable which are very great characters. Furthermore, Andy seemed to be very committed to SG Cowen and really wanted to be associated with it. This was evidenced by the fact that he made a lot of effort for him to do his informational interview and sacrificed so much even to have talks with other associates. He made frequent follow ups on his interviews by sending emails to SG Cowen and talking to any other person who was involved with the recruitment. Andy had the highest and very competitive GMAT and SAT scores accompanied also by great entrepreneurial capabilities which he certainly acquired from his business. To add to that, Andy seemed very mature, focused, enthusiastic, updated and future oriented.

However, Andy’s GPA score was the lowest reading 2.8. The results showed that Andy had scored so many C grade in many other different subjects and this raised some concerns from the interviewers. Nevertheless, some of the interviewers argued that the low grades did not matter very much and so they would consider Andy. This was because as stated by Rae, commitment was the main character that SG Cowen should consider and this is what was going to save Andy from elimination.


Negative Hiring Experience in an Organization.

A candidate lacks some information-This is according to Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003 studies and research. E.g. the case of Martin Street where he did not have any grade results mentioned and so there was no way for SG Cowen to evaluate his technical skills and capabilities. According to the information given about other candidates, it was a requirement for a candidate to mention his or her educational grades and scores. Therefore, even with the fact that Martin had all other requirements and skills and had qualified in all other grounds, it would be hard for SG Cowen to come up with a fair way of evaluating and interviewing him.

Organization not treating all candidates equally (Danley et al, 1996)-SG Cowen went to Wharton towards the end of the interview period which meant that they had to interview Martin being the last Candidate. In addition to that, one of the interviewers said that people either want to work for SG Cowen or they work for other firms. This statement sounded like a threat not only to those who wanted SG Cowen but also those who wanted to work for other different firms. The statement also sounded rude and careless considering the fact that it was made by a banker o interviewer from the same firm that was going to conduct interviews in the school, SG Cowen.

No freedom over details on the candidate’s information-Martin had informed SG Cowen earlier that he was undertaking many different finance courses but when they came for the recruitment he warned them not to ask him about his finance grades because it was not allowed by the recruiting rules of Wharton. The school rules acted as a limitation for Martin and therefore it must have been difficult for SG Cowen to find other methods to consider in interviewing Martin and find out whether he was qualifying for their recruitment.

Difficulties in interview scheduling-Martin had difficulties when it came to scheduling a Super Saturday interview even after passing those other interviews that were required for a candidate to proceed to Super Saturday interview. This was because he made himself busy with recruitment in other firms and had no enough time to be committed to SG Cowen. Even though Martin had mentioned that he liked smaller firm and specifically liked SG Cowen’s line of specialization, SG Cowen focused their attention on candidates who were ready to be committed to it fully with no divided attention and only them.

An organization’s fear of hiring the candidate (Gatta et al, 2005)-SG Cowen feared that Martin would play them with other firms that he was currently working for incase they hired him. This was because of the fact that he seems to like small firms and enjoys working with them all. Furthermore, this fact brings out some concern to SG Cowen interviewers of getting betrayed by him and the probability of Martin being disloyal to the firm. This was therefore a clear indication to SG Cowen firm that he was not really ready to work with them and to be fully committed to them and therefore the probability of them hiring Martin became very low or none at all.



Bach, S. and Edwards, M. (2013). Managing human resources. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.

Badawy, M. (2008). Managing Human Resources. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 36(1), pp.117-117.

Bonias, D. (2009). Managing Human Resources 10e20091Susan E. Jackson, Randall S. Schuler and Steve Werner. Managing Human Resources 10e. Mason, OH: South‐Western Cengage Learning 2006. Management Research News, 32(7), pp.701-703.

Call for papers: Managing Human Resources in the Leisure Industry. (2009). Managing Leisure, 14(1), pp.85-85.

Kramar, R. (2003). Managing Human Diversity. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 41(1), pp.4-5.

Minten, S. (2010). Managing human resources in the leisure industry. Managing Leisure, 15(1-2), pp.1-3.

Murray, P. (2005). Critical issues in managing age diversity in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43(2), pp.210-224.

Naidu, S. and Chand, A. (2014). Cultural ideologies of managing human resources versus western ideologies of managing human resources in Samoa. IJBG, 13(1), p.58.

Rothwell, W. and Kazanas, H. (2003). Planning and managing human resources. Amherst, Mass.: HRD Press.

Delaney, J. T., & Huselid, M. A. (1996). The impact of human resource management practices on perceptions of organizational performance.Academy of Management journal, 39(4), 949-969.

Guest, D. E. (1997). Human resource management and performance: a review and research agenda. International journal of human resource management, 8(3), 263-276.

Datta, D. K., Guthrie, J. P., & Wright, P. M. (2005). Human resource management and labor productivity: does industry matter?. Academy of management Journal, 48(1), 135-145.


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