MBA recruitment bouncing back, say top business schools

October 8, 2010
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A spring 2010 survey in the US has found that MBA recruitment is on the rise, when compared to 2009. The survey, conducted by the MBA Career Services Council revealed that 38 percent of US business schools that responded noticed an “increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time MBA jobs during spring 2010.” The findings signify a rise in on-campus business school recruitment, with just two percent of responding schools reporting a rise at the same time last year.

European full-time recruitment rise

Speaking to, Dominique D’Arcy, Manager of Manchester Business School’s Career Management Service, explained that there has been a similar rise in MBA recruitment in Europe as well. “Like everyone else we have seen a major shift in recruiting patterns this spring [2010].”

Recruiters were most reluctant to make any commitments this time last year, which translated into very few openings being advertised,” said D’Arcy. “This year we’ve seen an increase in energy, technology and telecoms recruitment, but the consulting sector is also buoyant providing us with a steady stream of opportunities.”

Echoing the view that MBA recruitment levels are beginning to recover after a period of drought, RSM Erasmus University’s Career Services Manager, Joep Elemans EMBA explained that, “While in 2009 we found recruiters reluctant to even get in touch with us as there were no jobs to offer anyway, this year their interest is certainly growing again and they are willing to talk.”

Still some way to go

However, while these findings do look promising for the MBA sector, it should be made clear that they signify the start of a recruitment recovery, not the pinnacle. As Elemans explains, “we see [companies] are still slightly reticent in setting up meetings, let alone making [job] offers.”

Katty Ooms Suter, Director of Marketing, Admissions and Career Services at IMD Business School, Switzerland’s MBA program and Board Member of the MBA Career Services Council explained how recruiters remain cautious in their recruitment policies. “Pretty much all companies [IMD] contacted across all industries are keen to recruit, in small amounts. [Each company’s recruitment is] so much more targeted, for specific needs or open positions rather than generic talent recruiting. But [MBA recruitment] is definitely a step forward from the last two years.”

Elemans was keen to make clear that around 70 to 75 percent of RSM’s 2010 graduates did receive job offers within three months of graduation. However, he explained “that the trajectory between a first contact and a final job offer to an MBA graduate currently takes much longer than it used to. In other words, we’re certainly in an upbeat mode, but we’re not there yet. “

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