Wall Street is officially making its comeback in millennial employment, and all they had to do was invest in their employees.
Investment giant Goldman Sachs received over 220,000 undergraduate applicants this year, up a whopping 46 percent from just a few years ago. Other banks, such as JPMorgan and Citigroup, have noticed similar upward trends in applications from young talent.
While no one can point to the exact cause of the application surge, one leading theory is that the banks are trying something they’ve never done before: actually giving a shit about their company culture.
The higher number of applications partly reflects the fact that there are fewer investment banks now, after the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis.
Recruitment companies also said investment banking was rebounding as a desirable profession partly because of banks’ concerted effort to end their workaholic culture, such as introducing more balanced work-life structures. Last week UBS, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley said they had introduced more employee-friendly measures, including hours off for personal matters, free Friday nights and sabbaticals.
“They are trying to replicate the Google model,” said Bernie Toole, who heads the investment banking unit at recruitment group Selby Jennings. “Before they used to churn analysts, now they are trying to attract and retain them by introducing a more positive culture, with perks and more flexible working practices.”
If by “replicate the Google model” you mean “treat their employees like human beings,” then yes, replicate away.
Silicon Valley attracted so many bright young minds in part because tech salaries have gone through the roof in the last decade, but also because people saw Apple throwing “beer bashes” on Fridays, building a campus wellness center and truly taking an interest in their employees well being. What a concept.
Hopefully this is a sign that we entitled, carefree millennials are finally being taken seriously and changing the business world for the better.
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Cover image: Getty