Making the most of the hiring process

The latest Corporate Recruiters Survey offers a positive MBA hiring landscape and highlights what is most important for employers in the process. Findings suggest both new approaches for students in the job search and what schools can do to increase placement rates. Christophe Lejeune and Michelle Sparkman Renz report.

Findings from the annual Corporate Recruiters Survey offer good news for class of 2014 MBAs, business schools and employers. Fewer companies surveyed report being focused on containing costs and efficiency and their hiring plans reflect it. Some 80% of employers worldwide plan to hire recent MBAs this year, up from 73% last year and 30 percentage points higher than in 2009, when just half of employers surveyed planned to hire MBAs.

The 13th annual survey drew responses from nearly 600 employers, including 32 of the top 100 companies in the Financial Times. It was conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council in partnership with EFMD and MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance. It offers insight into business school recruiters’ thinking and demonstrates the importance of internships, suggesting numerous ways that both schools and students can improve graduates’ chances of being hired.

Employers globally rated the hiring of past and present interns and on-campus visits as the most effective recruiting methods. European employers specifically cited internships as their most efficient means of identifying candidates to hire.

By hiring interns companies can observe first hand whether a prospect can do the work and is a good fit with the company. Likewise, a former intern who accepts a job has a better idea of the company culture and whether the company will be a good fit. Companies that hire past interns with whom they have experience are arguably making hiring decisions at a starting point that is even earlier than the traditional recruiting season viewed by business school career services offices.

A key aspect of the internship equation for schools is that more than half (57%) of employers surveyed reported that satisfaction with current and past interns is factored into their decision making when choosing future schools to recruit from. These findings provide numerous takeaways for how both schools and students can improve job placement rates.

Implications for Business Schools

1 Create more opportunities to place interns from a wider variety of programmes into a broader array of sectors.

Because employers find internships such an effective recruiting strategy, it is up to schools to help place as many students as possible as interns. Identifying which companies offer internships by sector and degree type, the survey results identify potential areas of growth among sectors that students might not have originally considered in non-traditional fields such as technology, health care and manufacturing.

In addition, a gap in demand levels between MBA and non-MBA interns suggests that there is an opportunity for schools to conduct awareness building on the skills sets that masters talent can offer an employer.

For the full article, you can view the PDF.

A new role for business schools at the forefront of change

See more articles from Vol.08 Issue 03 – ’14.

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