How to show BlackRock recruiters you share the firm’s five principles

Learn about these five key BlackRock values and how to demonstrate them in your application and at interview.

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If there’s something graduates definitely need to know about BlackRock, it is that the investment management firm’s five principles are the life of the business. These are listed on the ‘Mission and Principles’ page of the firm’s corporate website.

Here, targetjobs explains what the principles are, what they actually mean, and how and when graduates can demonstrate that they have the potential to work by the principles if employed.

BlackRock’s five principles

1. We are a fiduciary to our clients

A fiduciary is a person or organisation who holds a legal or ethical position of trust. At BlackRock, this describes the bond between the firm and its clients. Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO, explained in an interview with Leaders Mag: ‘We’re a fiduciary to every client. So whether it is an individual client, an insurance company, a sovereign wealth fund...everybody has to be treated with the same proprietary structure.’

‘It is important for candidates to understand that BlackRock is bound by its clients,’ a graduate recruiter at BlackRock told targetjobs. ‘The only way that we get paid is if we make money – BlackRock doesn’t have a blank chequebook.’ But, this is not to be misinterpreted as: BlackRock is only in it for the money.

She explained that the firm always puts clients’ interests first – it’s to the advantage of both parties to do so. This involves catering to clients’ specific needs and the firm being original in its approach. ‘It’s not about asset management versus investment banking – that’s not our approach,’ she said.

How do you prove that you’re client-focused?

  • Customer service experience in a shop or bar is beneficial here, but it’s not essential that you have it.
  • Your clients could be your readers when you worked on a student magazine or your classmates when you delivered a presentation. Think of occasions when you provided a service.
  • Understand that you need to show that you’re able to work with the needs or expectations of others in mind.

Show that you’re client-focused by including in your application form or covering letter an example of when and how you put yourself in someone else’s shoes to help them achieve the best outcome.

2. We are One BlackRock

According to the recruiter we spoke to, there is certainly no ‘I’ in team at BlackRock. ‘The organisation is all about teamwork and collaboration,’ she elaborates. ‘Employees don’t get any credit for an I-focused approach to work.’

She added, ‘BlackRock embraces the differences that people bring to the workplace and believes the best solutions, results and ideas come from a diverse team.’

The importance of diversity is reflected in the way that BlackRock recruits graduates. ‘We dig very deep to find the talent – we’ll go anywhere for it,’ said the recruiter. BlackRock recruits from a diverse range of universities in the UK and abroad.

She said that graduates who have demonstrated that they are ‘willing to collaborate’ are sought by BlackRock, and added, ‘Many strong candidates have failed the recruitment process because they were not a team player.’

How do you prove that you’re a team fit?

  • Look back on your academic, work and extracurricular experiences, and find examples of where you worked effectively in a group.
  • Select instances when you were active, in that your actions had a direct and real effect on the group. Perhaps you resolved a problem or you motivated discouraged colleagues?
  • Ensure you’re able to identify the bigger picture. For example, you’ll be member of a specific team if recruited by BlackRock, but your contribution will also have an effect on other areas of the business.

Show that you’re a team player during the group exercise at the assessment centre by listening to and respecting the opinions of others, and working hard to accomplish the team goal.

3. We are passionate about performance

Passion is another principle that’s at the heart of BlackRock. The recruiter told targetjobs: ‘This principle goes across the entire global business and cuts across everything.’ She also explains that there’s a direct link between passion and performance; the greater the passion, the better the performance. ‘BlackRock is committed to performing at the highest levels.'

This value also means being relentless about finding better ways to serve clients and improve the firm’s offering – in other words, being innovative.

The recruiter explained that the firm is underpinned by innovation, in that it was founded by eight individuals who used their creativity and entrepreneurial skills to grow the business. ‘The business still has a start-up feel. It’s a unique story with a legacy that graduates will continue.’

She advised graduates to ask themselves these key questions:

  • Are you on a constant quest to do things better?
  • Do you have an appetite to learn?
  • How can you show experience of innovation in your university life?
  • How have you put ideas into action? What were the results?
  • Are you always looking at ways that you can modify things to make them better?

Show that you’re passionate about and committed to personal and professional development, as well as to a career with BlackRock, during your interview by giving detailed responses that explain ‘why’ you did things and how your motivation lead to improvements.

Show that you’re innovative by including an achievements section in your CV that summarises how your actions or ideas created a positive outcome for you or others.

4. We take emotional ownership

Blackrock’s culture is defined by a deep sense of responsibility to its clients and to each other. In everything its employees do, they are emotionally invested in both their clients’ futures and the success of the firm and their colleagues.

To evaluate your sense of responsibility and standards of excellence, targetjobs suggests you find examples of activities you have been involved with that you felt strongly invested in, perhaps because you were serving a greater good or had people relying on you. For example, this could include a volunteering role, a position of responsibility in a student society or a personal project to meet a specific need.

Developing good emotional intelligence will also help you to respond better to the needs of colleagues or clients, to everyone’s benefit.

5. We are committed to a better future

BlackRock cares about the long-term value of everything it does. It is deeply invested in the success of all of our stakeholders – clients, employees, shareholders and the communities in which it operates – and the business is run sustainably and responsibly.

To learn more about this value, how BlackRock supports its employees to make a positive contribution and how you can improve your knowledge of sustainability, read our interview with Juliette Faure , an associate in the environmental, social & governance integration team within BlackRock Sustainable Investing.

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