If you aspire to land a job at Goldman Sachs, particularly a tech-related one, now could well be the time to apply. Analysis by Thinknum Alternative Data shows that Goldman Sachs is in the middle of a hiring spree that began early last summer. Vacancies at the bank are up nearly 30 percent over last year.
Thinknum’s chart showing the evolution of Goldman’s vacancy numbers since early 2018 is below. Monitoring the number of vacancies advertised on Goldman’s own careers pages, Thinknum detected a dramatic dip in hiring in the 12 months leading to April 2019. But that trend reversed last May, and (December excepted) Goldman’s recruitment has been roaring ever since.
By early January 2020, Thinknum found, Goldman was advertising 2,030 jobs. Compare that to the 1,590 jobs being advertised one year previously; it’s an increase of 27.7 percent.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment on its big increase in hiring, which considerably outweighs the 5 percent year-over-year increase in headcount registered by the bank in the 12 months leading to December 2019. If recruitment continues at this rate, the implication is that Goldman will register significantly larger headcount growth in future… unless some existing staff are simultaneously shuffled out the back door.
New Jobs: Not Like the Old Ones
Goldman’s recruitment drive is not the end of the story. As we’ve observed before, the sorts of people Goldman is recruiting now are not the same as those it recruited in the past.
As the chart below shows, fewer than 10 percent of the jobs currently being advertised at Goldman Sachs fall into the ‘traditional’ front office categories of the investment banking division (IBD – M&A and primary capital markets) and securities (sales and trading). Instead, over half of Goldman’s current vacancies are in either engineering (tech) or its consumer and investment management division, which includes the retail bank Marcus. This is where the big hiring at Goldman Sachs is now.
We can also compare how much Goldman Sachs pays its technologists to other finance firms such as JPMorgan, Capital One, and Visa. This information is drawn from levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data. Check it out:
New Goldman Sachs Pays Less Than Old Version
As the pendulum swings in favor of engineering and retail banking jobs, pay at Goldman Sachs is changing. The company made a big additional compensation payment in the fourth quarter of 2019, suggesting it may have topped-up bonuses at the last minute. Even so, average pay-per-head fell from $337,000 in 2018 to $323,000 in 2019. Without the fourth quarter top-up, pay-per-head for the full year would have fallen even more.
In fact, senior management at Goldman Sachs is absolutely explicit about the fact that pay is being crimped in existing businesses to fund growth in new ones. While the company remains committed to paying for performance, CFO Stephen Scherr said last week that compensation expenses were reduced across “many” businesses in 2019, both “to improve operating efficiency and to support incremental compensation expenses related to our growth initiatives where revenue production is beginning to materialize.”
While it’s easier to get a job at Goldman Sachs today than it has been for a while, it’s therefore likely to be harder than ever to get the sort of job traditionally associated with the firm, which pays a combined salary and bonus of $1.5m or more. Instead, software engineers, artificial intelligence experts, and other technologists are highly prized.
A modified version of this article originally appeared in eFinancialCareers.