Goldman Sachs' recruiter's 80-hour work weeks possibly not unusual
How hard is your life as a recruiter in an investment bank? If Ian Dodd, a 55-year-old former MD in global recruitment at Goldman Sachs in London, is to be believed, it is very hard indeed. Dodd, who left Goldman December 2021, is suing the bank for $1.3m and says his brief time there precipitated a health crisis.
Goldman is disputing Dodd's claims, which include the suggestion that he worked 80 hours a week and had to stay in a London hotel three days each week instead of taking a 50-minute train home to meet demands upon him. Goldman's defense document states that Dodd's working schedule was self-imposed and details various attempts by managers to discourage overwork and help him get to grips with the job. At one point, Goldman's defence says Dodd falsely claimed that his mother had passed away to excuse a period of absence and that Goldman partner and then- head of HR Dane Holmes messaged him saying, "Know I am here for you and all I care about is you and your health. Nothing else matters! I am here if you need anything – absolutely anything.’"
While it all sounds very peculiar on the part of Dodd, it doesn't seem too harsh. However, we haven't seen Dodd's full list of grievances, which underpin the personal injury claim stating Goldman drove him to mental a physical health crisis.
Senior banking recruiters who've worked at rival institutions say it's not unusual to burnout in financial recruitment. "80 hours a week might not be standard, but when I was running recruitment I worked 10-12 hour days and got up at 6am on Saturday to work for four hours before my wife was up," says one senior recruiter.
He says the trouble with working as a recruiter for an investment bank is the feast and famine nature of the work. "When it's feast, there aren't enough hours in the day to do your job properly. You have to work harder and harder to deliver something that's not as good as it should be, and you start to burn out. When it's famine, you have nothing to do and start to worry about being let go."
The same recruiter says it doesn't help that recruiters are often at the bottom of the food chain in banks and can be treated disrespectfully by the business. Dodd says there was a culture of dysfunctional and bullying behaviour at Goldman, but Goldman's defense details various instances where senior staff had attempted to help him with the role.
Speaking off the record, another senior recruiter says working in recruitment for an investment bank is stressful by its nature and that permissible response times are always short. But he says that the stress can be alleviated if you can build a relationship with the hiring managers and understand their needs. "Recruiters that do this well are hugely valued by the business," he says.
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