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How Bain Recruits MBA Talent

Bain consultants meeting in a lobby

How Bain Is Recruiting MBA Talent

The tech industry is exploding. Now, consulting firms – a destination for MBA royalty – is increasingly competing with tech giants like Google and Apple, in recruiting. Despite this, MBA recruitment is at an all-time high at Bain & Company.

“Last year, we hired more consultants than we’ve ever hired in the 41-year history of Bain & Company,” Keith Bevans, a Bain & Company partner who leads the company’s global consulting recruiting efforts, tells Poets & Quants. “This year, we’re going to hire more. We’ll hire north of 400 consultants this year…It’ll be our largest class to date.”

Tech’s Growing Popularity Among MBAs

That said, large tech firms are making in-roads at the top business schools. At Stanford Graduate School of Business, for example, Bain is one of the top five employers of grads. However, according to Financial Times, Google and Apple are also in that list.

Dustin Clinard is the managing director of the Americas for Universum Global, which has been tracking worldwide employer popularity among business students. In an interview with Poets & Quants, Clinard says the rise of tech has given MBAs more options than ever to choose from.

“The range of options for graduating talent is getting larger,” he says. “Where you used to have primarily banks and consulting companies, now you have a whole lot of startups and a whole lot of more traditional tech companies.”

The Reasoning Behind Choosing a Tech Company

But why are tech companies so popular among MBAs? Clinard says it’s an increased emphasis of having purpose.

“MBA grads are placing an increasing amount of importance on companies that have an inspiring purpose,” he says. “They do more than simply make money. They make money with a purpose of greater good to it.”

Bain’s Fight To Recruit The Top Talent

For a number of traditional MBA-hiring firms, high salaries and benefits won’t be enough to win over MBAs anymore.

At Bain, a number of recruiting initiatives have been put in place in recent years to try and attract more MBA talent.

Bain has an entire blog, known as Bain Voices, dedicated to Bain employees discussing their passions.

“We’re talking about how they’re balancing their career and their families and pursuing their passions,” Bevans says. “We had one partner write a blog entry a couple of months ago on swimming across the English Channel and talking about the training and commitment involved in doing that. So it’s a real neat cross-section of the type of people you’d be working with at Bain.”

In addition, Bain is focused on differentiating itself from other consulting firms. According to Bevans, the company has a program called “Connect with Bain” – a program dedicated to building upfront relationships where prospective Bain applicants can talk with Bain employees.

“It’s a chance for them to meet with the people from Bain and, more importantly, get to hear about the type of the work that we’re doing and get a sense for what the industry is and what type of work Bain does,” Bevans says. “We’re not interviewing people during those sessions or anything like that. But it’s a good chance for them to plant the seed in their mind that this could be an exciting career for them post-MBA.”

Sources: Financial Times, Poets & Quants, Poets & Quants