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Goldman kicks off 'ambitious' recruitment campaign to attract new talent

Julia La Roche

Goldman Sachs (GS) on Tuesday launched its "most ambitious" recruiting campaign to attract its next generation of talent.

With Wall Street appearing a less desirable career path for younger workers, the banking giant released its new "Day In The Life" campaign that seeks to set the record straight on what it's like to work at the 150-year-old firm.

“One of our primary objectives for brand marketing at Goldman Sachs is to showcase the firm as an employer of choice,” said Amanda Rubin, global co-head of brand and content strategy.

“We are highly focused on marketing’s role in attracting talent and showcasing the culture of the firm, which is what the new campaign aims to do,” Rubin added.

“Goldman Sachs has a distinct culture and trying to distill it down for a campaign was an exciting challenge that has helped inform our broader brand goals,” she said.

‘Weren’t easy to hear’

While working on the campaign, Goldman found a disconnect between the internal and external perception of life at Wall Street’s most gilded bank.

"Through extensive research, we aimed to better understand our brand image and audience in order to make more data-driven decisions about our brand position. As you might imagine, we haven't always liked the answers we've uncovered, proving that the initiative has been worth the effort," Dane Holmes, Goldman’s head of Human Capital Management, wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn.

Goldman gleaned insights from third-party surveys that included a total sample size of more than 40,000 people. The surveys focused on a range of metrics such as favorability, reputation, diversity and innovation. The bank also took a qualitative approach to hone in on things like culture and job specifics.

Although the results yielded lots of positive impressions, it also surfaced less favorable words — like "competitive," "elitist," and "cutthroat”, according to Holmes.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 02: In this photo illustration the logo of American multinational investment bank and financial services company The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is displayed on a smartphone on January 02, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

"Those last two weren't easy to hear, especially for someone like me who has spent nearly two decades of my professional life here,” the executive wrote on LinkedIn. He said he would have had “a very different collection of words to put on that list, including collaborative, team-based, action-orientated, and loaded with opportunity.”

Meanwhile, he noted that some of the top associations with tech companies included: "innovation, future, creativity, fun and dream."

Those characteristics are important, since these days the firm is no longer just competing against other bulge bracket banks for the best and the brightest. Now, Goldman is going toe-to-toe with Silicon Valley, especially for those with tech chops.

Engineers, foodies and community leaders

Goldman Sachs debuts its 'Day In The Life' recruitment campaign.

Goldman is essentially a service provider, which means its success is highly dependent on the caliber of talent.

It's always been very challenging to snag a coveted position at Goldman Sachs. While the most current acceptant rates aren't readily available, in recent years the acceptance rate for new hires was in the low single-digits.

Goldman’s campaign consists of videos featuring men and women from diverse backgrounds working in various roles, from engineering to trading and the consumer and investment management.

Some are in more casual dress since the firm loosened up its dress code, while others are seen in more traditional business formal attire.

In one of the spots, viewers will meet Karla, "the foodie," who's held several roles at the firm.

"I spend my days analyzing trends and developing new products in an industry that I love. Many evenings you can find me exploring the city's food scene or catching a yoga class,” Karla tells the viewers.

“I never expected to find a home for my professional ambitions and my passions outside of work in the same place. I'm here because I believe who you are, makes you better at what you do," she added.

Another clip shows Corwin, "the community leader," who bikes to Goldman's offices every day. He's part of the Controller's team, and outside of the office he focuses on FREE— an organization he co-founded that aims to close the socioeconomic wealth gap.

"The relationships I have formed have changed the trajectory of my career and have inspired me to help others realize their financial goals,” Corwin says in the video.

“I'm here because I found the way for my expertise I'm gaining in my career to fuel the work I'm doing in my community," he added.

The campaign is meant to target both campus and lateral recruits globally. It will be distributed as paid media across platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn as well as YouTube, Hulu, and Spotify.

Lately, under the leadership of new CEO David Solomon, the bank set new hiring goals around diversity among its analysts and entry-level associates, which accounts for 70% of all the firm's hiring. The firm has also expanded the pool of schools from which it actively recruits.

Goldman ranks as one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For," placing 62 on this year's list. The firm has also consistently maintained its status as a company recognized by the Great Place To Work Institute since that list's inception in 1984, with 85% of employees responding favorably.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.