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In private equity, having the technical skills to analyze a business, understand financial statements, and build financial models is essential. But it is often overwhelming for students entering the workforce to figure out how to acquire these skills and break into the industry. 

This is what inspired Katie Fifer, Founder of Recalc Academy, to launch the Recalc Finance Accelerator, a program designed to help students launch their careers in investing. The program especially supports those who are historically underrepresented within private equity, including women, underrepresented minorities, first generation college students, and students from schools without traditional on-campus finance recruiting. 

Backed by the support of leading investment firms who are dedicated to advancing diversity in the industry, the Accelerator focuses on:

  • Technical training
  • Mentorship and community
  • Recruiting support 

Prior participants have secured internships at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Blackstone, General Atlantic, Audax Group Private Equity, Spectrum Equity, TCW Private Credit, Avance Investment Management, and many other top firms.

The Recalc Finance Accelerator welcomes two cohorts every year. But first comes an intense interviewing process where they must narrow down hundreds of applicants to 40 participants in just three weeks.

Read on to uncover how BrightHire helped Recalc Academy:

  • Interview more applicants and extend the opportunity to a larger set of candidates
  • Get to know all the applicants on a deeper level and reduce unconscious bias 
  • Confidently choose participants and build the best possible cohort class

Searching for the right participants

Recalc Academy interviews hundreds of candidates each Fall and Spring for its Accelerator. The entire recruiting process is crammed into three weeks, so the team must work fast to ensure the right candidates are selected.

The team often had many back-to-back interviews. With so many conversations each day, it was challenging to avoid them from blurring together and the possibility of unconscious bias coming into play. Without a way to replay the conversations and key moments, there wasn’t an ideal way to make final decisions on acceptances.

Building the best cohort class with BrightHire

Recalc Academy needed an efficient and equitable way to interview applicants and select program participants. So, they turned to BrightHire.

With BrightHire, Katie and her team record and transcribe interviews, making it easy to focus on the candidate fully during the conversation and later revisit any key interview moments. This greater visibility into interviews brings her team three key benefits:

1. Extend the opportunity to a larger set of candidates

Katie and her team are always up against the clock to interview and select participants in just 20 days. Before using Brighthire, the team had to rigidly prioritize interviewing candidates who seemed like a good fit on paper. But this meant they might miss out on compelling candidates whose resume didn’t tell the full story.

With BrightHire, the team has transformed the candidate selection process, making it more efficient, structured, and scalable. Now, Recalc can include more team members in the interview process while ensuring calibration across those interviews by reviewing recordings and comparing notes. This frees up their availability to speak with more applicants from various experiences and move the best candidates forward.

2. Get to know all the applicants on a deeper level and reduce bias in the selection process

To assess who will be a good fit for the program, it’s important for Katie and her team to really get to know candidates. With the ability to automatically capture important notes and context from interviews, they are able to stop taking detailed notes and give candidates their undivided attention. BrightHire also makes Katie and her team more cognizant of how much time they are speaking during each interview, helping them maximize listening time to get to know candidate stories on a deeper level. 

3. Confidently choose participants and build the best possible cohort class

Before BrightHire, when Katie and her team hopped from conversation to conversation, details began to blur together. This left the team to rely solely on their memories and rough notes to make a decision. BrightHire helps the Recalc team avoid recency bias by giving them a way to revisit key conversations and confidently advance candidates.

Fall 2022 Finance Accelerator program

The next Finance Accelerator program is running this Fall and applications open August 22nd.  The program includes 6 weeks of technical training, high-touch recruiting support, industry mentorship, and a year-round community.  

To learn more or apply to the program, visit Recalc Academy: Finance Accelerator.

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