What MBA Recruiters Want Most (and Least) in MBAs
Among business school students, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) studies are growing in popularity. Just don’t tell employers. Among MBA recruiters, ESG ranks as the lowest priority when screening candidates for jobs.
A new Bloomberg Businessweek survey found that the most popular quality that MBA recruiters seek from MBA grads is problem-solving skills, at 17.2%, with communication skills and collaboration ranking second and third highest, at 15.4% and 14%, respectively. The percentages represent the number of times a quality is prioritized one through five in a survey.
Experts say MBAs looking to go down the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will need to emphasize traditional skills, such as problem solving and communication, as well.
“If I’m recruiting for my team, I want them to do the job I want them to do,” Jean-Philippe Verdier of Verdier & Co. Corporate Advisory, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “ESG is just one matter for me.”
The research on in-demand skills for MBAs is consistent, for the most part.
In a Graduate Management Admission Council survey with more than 1,200 employers, the two main skills organizations look for in b-school grads are problem solving and working well with others.
“By a wide margin, problem solving and working with others are the skills that recruiters say are the most important for the job openings they plan to fill with business school graduates,” Matt Hazenbush, GMAC’s research communications senior manager, and Gregg Schoenfeld, senior director for research, questionnaire development, and analysis and interpretation of data, write in the report.
GROWTH IN ESG POPULARITY
Experts say b-schools may be growing their ESG programs in part due to the increased student demand around the sector.
A Bloomberg Intelligence survey found that 77% of millennials are interested in social-impact investing and ownership.
“Business schools have to pay attention to their customers,” Lee Mergy, co-founder of Galt & Co., a management consultancy firm that works with Fortune 250 companies, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “Their customers are as much, if not more, the candidates applying to those schools, as they are the businesses trying to pull candidates from them.”