As Goldman’s then-CEO (now senior chairman) Lloyd Blankfein said in 2017, “Thirty percent of the people who work in this firm are engineers, are technologists, because of the way the financial markets have gone. So we compete against Facebook and Google and all these other places for talent.”
Goldman has made some key changes to reach a wider and more diverse candidate pool, like conducting video interviews with recent graduates instead of visiting elite college campuses.
This week Goldman announced a new parental-leave policy: 20 weeks of paid leave for all new parents, regardless of their gender or caregiver status. It’s by far the most generous leave policy on Wall Street, and rivals leave policies at some top tech companies.
Earlier this year, Goldman relaxed its rigid dress code, in light of “the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment,” according to a company memo.
Holmes said Goldman applies the same perfectionistic mindset to hiring for tech roles that it applies to hiring in general. “If we were able to hire nine of the 10 engineers that we were targeting, we wouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back for the nine out of 10 we got,” he said. “We’d probably be trying to figure out why we didn’t get the 10th.”
At Goldman, attracting talented professionals is less of a concern than keeping them engaged
Some management experts say a leader’s effectiveness — and an organization’s — isn’t a function of how long they keep their employees.
As Sidney Finkelstein, professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, previously told Business Insider, a “superboss” is someone who spawns an entire new generation of talent within their industry. Think Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. These leaders know when it’s time to let go of a stellar performer who’s taking the next step in their career.
Meanwhile, top tech companies like Netflix say they want to know when their employees are looking at other jobs. Sometimes they’ll even go out of their way to help employees land those other roles.
At Goldman, Holmes said, “the challenge for us tends to be less the access point,” or the ability to get people excited about working at Goldman. Instead, he said, the relevant questions are: “Can I put them in the perfect job? Am I matching them the right way? Do they evolve and learn and grow and” — it’s hard for any manager to avoid wondering — “want to stay here?”
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