How much power do partners have in the hiring process?

consulting
New answer on Sep 21, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 29, 2020

How much power do partners have in making recruitment exceptions?

I turned down an internship offer from a big 4 consulting firm hoping to interview full-time directly. Unfortunately, big 4 isn't hiring full-time now. The partner really liked me but it seems like the firm's policy is that I can only recruit a yeat after I graduate from my MBA.

If I have a good relationship with the partner, can he make an exception on hiring rules and have his team interview me again as soon as they start hiring (without me having to wait a whole year after I graduate)?

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Clara
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Partners essentially OWN the firm, hence, their voice is super important.

This said, could be that there is an agreed policy that year that everyone needs to embrace.in this case, I see more unlikely that this partner would bend the rules... but you never know.

I would talk about the topic openly with this perosn, particularly given that he/she seems to like you. If you pose it politely, just asking to understand that you need to know how the odds are to take next steps, cannot be taken badly.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on Aug 30, 2020

Dear A,

Partner are the owner of the firms and they have a final world.

Of course, they know about internal policy. But you should know also, that they can make an exception if its would be in favorto their company.

Otherwise, we have to accept this rules.

Best,
André

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Partners have strong power in the company. You can definitely (politely) ask if that may be possible. There are no guarantees though it will work – sometimes even partners cannot overrule a standard in the company.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous B replied on Aug 29, 2020

Partners have very little power to overrule policy decisions. At best - a senior partner might have more sway but I just don't see the incentive for them to make such an exception

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Robert
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replied on Aug 29, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

Partners are essentially the owners and therefore have the most power in the organization, so they can definitely make exceptions to general rules if it is in favor of their business and they have a clear argumentation to do so.

That the partner really liked you is a good start, but I am not sure that this translates into enough value for the company to have a solid rationale for your hiring.

Since we are talking here about a singular case, the only way to not speculate about it is to contact your partner and outline your specific situation and try to figure out a way on how that could be working.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote below!

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Sep 21, 2020

Rules are rules. Unless the office you are applying to is really small with only 2-3 partners there, otherwise I doubt this 1 partner can make exception for you. If one partner can make exception, all the others would start asking such favor as well and the hiring team would have difficulty keeping rules. Btw, Big 4 are very strict on policies, much more than other consulting firms (they each has a big audit mothership and culture).

Plus, from a partner's point of view, not much damange if you wait for 1 year. Unless you have personal tie with the partner, otherwise you could be putting him/her in a tight spot too.

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Ian
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replied on Sep 01, 2020
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Partners have a ton of power! But even Presidents of nations are beholden to the rules.

So, while this Partner liking you is great, he/she might be hamstrung in terms of what they might be able to do. The Big4 are going through some lay-offs so hiring is difficult.

I think you should find a way to ask politely to see what your options are. Let him/her know your interest and see what you can do. Report back and we can advise :)

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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