The Desk

September 25, 2011

Banks

Filed under: Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 7:19 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

My weekly journey for a regular appointment takes me along Sunset Boulevard. Nearly every block through business districts is populated by at least one bank. In some places there are four banks on each corner of an intersection, each a different institution from all the others. With your vision being assaulted by so many financial institutions, your mind starts considering what’s inside and what’s offered.

A bank is a bank is a bank is a bank, right? All of them allow you to bring your money to them to hold until you need to use it. All of them pay you interest for letting them use your money. All of them make loans to you for various types of commerce. Maybe that isn’t the case. Maybe that’s an oversimplification.

Whatever it is, another thing you begin to think about is what it’s like to work for one of them. It seems with the homogeneity of all of them, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference which one to choose. What goes on in one is what happens in another.

Vault offerS guides that evaluate various industries, among them is the banking industry. One of their recent newsletters disclosed some interesting facts about the top 50 banks that’s broken down into various categories. The look at how the 50 are ranked in 11 categories:

  • Business Outlook
  • Compensation
  • Culture
  • Formal Training
  • Green Initiatives
  • Hours
  • Informal Training
  • Office Space
  • Relationships with Managers
  • Satisfaction
  • Selectivity

Yes, it’s a heavily job seeker instrument and there are a lot of things that go into making a choice. Perhaps when the candidate is taking a tour of the office during one of the last interviews, these qualifications are the ones that deserve to be utmost on the radar. In addition to helping the candidate make a decision, this guide and it’s statistics are also a barometer that employers and recruiters will want to have handy so that they can talk up the best features of the institution in order to win over that brass ring, the ideal candidate.

In the area of Best to Work for in 2011, the top five (according to the survey results) are

2011
RANK
2010
RANK
CHANGE FIRM SCORE LOCATION
1 1 Houlihan Lokey 9.611 Los Angeles, CA
2 NR The Blackstone Group 9.450 New York, NY
3 3 Centerview Partners 9.424 New York, NY
4 2 Moelis & Company 9.405 New York, NY
5 10 TD Securities 9.333 Toronto,

Vault tells us these rankings are “compiled using a weighted formula that reflects the issues bankers care most about, combining quality of life rankings (such as culture, satisfaction, hours and compensation) with overall prestige.” They provide their methodology for coming up with these numbers. According to the Methodology, the banking professionals who were surveyed, 38% said the company culture was the most important factor.

It’s entirely up to you as to whether you want to purchase the guides. What’s important is the fact that the information is available. Depending on how you read it, it’s a generous tool for any side of the employment desk.

It looks like not all banks are alike and don’t really do the same thing from one institution to another. They aren’t cookie cutter institutions. Do your research. Make a list of your priorities. Circle the ones that offer the most attributes on your list (or ask about them during the interview), evaluate what you have to offer, and then go after what you really want.

Make that door of opportunity a glass door so there’ll be no surprises.

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