Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Officer
GRE 325, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mx. CPG Marketer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.95
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Reform
GRE 331 (Practice), GPA 2.92
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Against All Odds
GMAT 720, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Champion Swimmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Auditor
GRE 332, GPA 3.25
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)

How Recruiters Rank MBA Programs

Some Drawbacks Of Recruiter Rankings

Sure, recruiters may be able to better discern the quality of students – and the employees they ultimately turn out to be. But recruiters – and the methodology used by U.S. News to gauge their opinions – are not without critics.

Let’s start by comparing the methodologies used by U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek in constructing their rankings. Bloomberg Businessweek performs heavy due diligence to ensure the rating is completed by the person who’s responsible for MBA recruiting in an organization. As a result, you generally get one rating per company in their rankings.  Conversely, U.S. News expends less effort in identifying one recruiter per company. With recruiters often shipping alumni off to campus to woo MBAs, U.S. News could potentially factor multiple ratings per company into a school’s score. This, in turn, could artificially raise and diminish a median score, while making it vulnerable to annual swings.

On the plus side, U.S. News gives each response equal weight. In Bloomberg Businessweek’s methodology, recruiters who hire more MBAs receive greater weight. As a result, their recruiter rankings are skewed towards the tastes of larger firms like McKinsey, Deloitte, and Amazon.

Similarly, the nature of surveying recruiters can be problematic. Never mind that only 16 percent of the recruiter pool responded to U.S. News’ evaluation request. The survey simply asks for a score between 1 and 5. It doesn’t specify exactly what U.S. News wants measured. Accordingly, one recruiter could emphasize work performance of alumni, while another could factor in the quality of facilities. Second, recruiters only meet with a sliver of the student body, often within defined specialties. Thus, the recruiter ranking may not evaluate a business program as a whole. Finally, the best schools attract the best students. Many of these students would thrive regardless of which schools they attend. And that begs a question: Will schools that enroll less accomplished students – but do a superb job at teaching – always fall short of schools with the brand and network to attract the best-and-brightest?

Bottom Line

Yes, the recruiter rankings can be subjective and inconsistent (in theory, at least). Business schools may be around to serve students. To rank high, they must also fulfill the needs of the marketplace. And that’s what recruiters represent. They hold the keys to those doors that students want to enter. And to stay successful, school must cater to – and anticipate their needs.

A Quick Note

The U.S. News methodology used above has a minor flaw. Although we subtracted the overall rank from recruiter assessment rank, the 15 percent weight of the recruiter assessment is still embedded in the overall rank. In other words, the recruiter assessment still acts as a drag (or a boost) on the overall ranking. As a result, some schools could theoretically be ranked slightly higher (or lower) if recruiter assessment was removed entirely.