What You Need To Know About MBA Recruiting

    1. MBA recruiting is a sales and marketing operation

      Whenever you start the recruiting process and whatever firms and industries you target, you’ll engage in more or less the same steps: research and identify qualified recruiting leads, establish advocates within your target organizations, make an appealing value proposition to the decision-makers, and convert as many opportunities as you can. If you have ever worked in B2B sales, this process will sound familiar. From lead generation (company research) to closing the deal (receiving a job offer), the MBA recruiting process is much more like being a salesperson than it is like being a typical job candidate. We’ve written about this before, and we talk about four distinct phases of the recruiting process: Source, Filter, Engage, and Convert. Each of these steps is critical for different reasons, but with its emphasis on in-person events and countless networking calls, MBA recruiting is disproportionately focused on Engagement. Students often lack the time or toolkit to properly Source (find companies that hire MBAs) and Filter (build a target list based on your personal preferences and experience) recruiting prospects, which means that they are often Engaging with a limited number of insufficiently vetted companies. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to make sure you start your exploration process as early as possible, preferably in the summer before school and social life take up all of your free time. RelishCareers’ Filtered Search tool is designed to help with exactly this process, and unlike many other recruiting platforms it’s available to students for free in the summer before school starts.


  1. On-campus recruiting is reliable, but off-campus is where you’ll find the broadest types of opportunities

    Your admission to a top business school makes you an all-star job candidate, and employers all over the world know it. As a result, there will likely be hundreds of firms visiting your campus and posting jobs at your school, all hoping to attract the best and the brightest students. But only the largest and most active MBA recruiters are able to recruit at multiple campuses, and the expense associated with in-person recruiting means even industry behemoths can only afford to focus on a handful of schools. That means that the hundreds of employers you’ll encounter recruiting on-campus will represent only a fraction of the available opportunities, and if you’re interested in starting a career in private equity or joining a growing early stage startup you’ll need to look off-campus. While the broad availability and institutional support of the school make on-campus recruiting a predictable process, off-campus recruiting is much more student-driven, and connecting with interesting opportunities often requires persistence and creativity. As always, it’s best to get started early in the school year, but many off-campus recruiters have erratic or just-in-time hiring schedules, and many off-campus internship or job offers aren’t extended until the late spring. This late timeline makes off-campus recruiting a bit riskier than the traditional on-campus model, but the pool of available jobs is exponentially larger and more diverse. It’s best to hedge your bets by putting effort into both on- and 0ff-campus recruiting, but again the most important thing is to find and pursue only those opportunities that are a good fit for you and your career aspirations.

Zach Mayo is the chief operating officer of RelishCareers, the marketplace for MBA hiring. Available to incoming students from network schools, RelishCareers gives candidates early access to employer branding and MBA-specific career opportunities before the hectic pace of first year MBA life begins in the fall. Admitted MBAs who sign-up for before the end of May get a sneak peek at featured company content aimed at this year’s recruiting class. 

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