Unilever, the European consumer goods giant, today (July 7) said it plans to quadruple its number of MBA hires over the next four years.
The company said that roughly 25 international management positions in Unilever’s marketing, supply chain and category teams are currently available for top MBA graduates and alumni for 2011. That number will increase incrementally to around 100 by 2014.
Unilever is the latest of several companies to announce a significant increase in MBA hiring. Deloitte Consulting, Boston Consulting Group, Accenture and General Electric also plan to staff up with more MBAs this year. Accenture’s MBA hiring is expected to be up by 50% this year. GE has said it will hire about 100 MBAs this year, up from 80 in 2010 and about 70 in 2009.
Unilever, whose portfolio of brands includes Knorr, Dove and Lipton, said it launched a “global MBA recruitment channel” to recruit more MBAs to meet the company’s ambition to double the size of its business over the next four years. It is the first time that Unilever has launched a formal program to facilitate the hiring of MBA graduates and alumni into vacant corporate roles.
To meet this target, Unilever has partnered with 30 of top business schools around the world whose MBA alumni and graduates are given priority access to applying for the available jobs. In the U.S., the schools include Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
The investment reflects a shift in Unilever’s global talent acquisition strategy towards working more closely with the world’s best schools to boost its talent pipeline and ensure it is fit to win in an increasingly competitive and globalised market.
“To achieve our vision of doubling the size of our business while reducing our environmental impact, it will be imperative that we recruit experienced, high caliber functional experts with an MBA, who have a global mindset and are already specialists in their field,” said Paul Maxin, Unilever’s global resourcing director, in a statement.
“Our new global MBA recruitment channel will be absolutely crucial to delivering the talent we need to fulfill our growth ambition, and will also give MBA business school alumni & graduates a fantastic opportunity to realize their personal goals, too.”