Recruitment boom: More events flock to campus jobs as Covid fears ease

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Recruiters and MBAs will find each other one way or another. In a new survey, significant majorities of business schools report an increase in student and employer engagement in on-campus or virtual MBA recruiting activities this fall. One of the main causes of growth: increasing comfort levels with on-campus recruiting as coronavirus fears ease.

MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, which has over 250 B-schools as members, has released its latest member survey showing that 60% of respondents report a significant or slight increase in MBA student engagement in recruiting events in person or online, and 67% report the same increase in engagement for MBA recruiters.

The findings are another piece of the jigsaw following a CSEA MBA survey released around this time last year in which a fifth of schools said their students preferred virtual recruiting activities to face-to-face recruiting activities. face, although a significant number had found their place in virtual activities. or hybrid formats; as well as a report earlier this year showing that students and employers are adapting to the new formats and embracing the flexibility and time savings they allow.

Source: MBA CSEA

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT UP SIGNIFICANTLY AT 19% OF B SCHOOLS

MBA CSEA is a global association for graduate business career services professionals and MBA employers. Its latest survey was conducted October 18-25, garnering 120 responses, 81% of which were from B schools in North America; 11% came from Europe and 1% from Asia-Pacific.

It found that 19% of respondents report significant increases and 41% report slight increases in student engagement in recruitment events and on-campus or virtual career programs, while 24% report no change. Only 12% reported slight decreases and 3% significant decreases.

In September-October 2021, MBA CSEA found that only 19% of respondents indicated that students seemed to prefer face-to-face recruiting/networking in some format, primarily due to the need for in-person connections. Seventy percent of respondents to this survey said less recruiting was done in person; meanwhile, 10% noted that students like the flexibility and additional opportunities offered by virtual recruitment – ​​in particular, an increasing level of comfort with video interviews and access to more employers. Students seemed to recognize the trend towards virtual recruitment, and the school reported that this change was due to improved recruitment platforms and more equitable engagement between schools. International students in particular have embraced virtual formats as a learning tool as they seek to overcome the inconveniences of needing visas or other assistance to stay in the countries where they work.

In the CSEA MBA Fall Recruitment Survey conducted in January of this year, a central finding was a continued preference for virtual and hybrid activity in recruiting. In-person recruiting experiences, such as career fairs, were down while virtual opportunities were up at the majority of schools.

In the new survey, schools that experienced an increase in student engagement in recruitment activities reported the top two reasons as an overall increase in in-person events and a decrease in risk – and fear – of spread of Covid-19. In contrast, schools that experienced a decline in engagement credited a more selective job market and students engaging with employers in non-traditional ways (i.e., direct hires). However, schools that saw no change in engagement levels blamed the coronavirus, saying their students had yet to bounce back from the crisis.

Source: MBA CSEA

A BOOMING LABOR MARKET CREDITED BY AN INCREASE IN MBA RECRUITMENT

On the employer side, the rise in engagement levels is even more pronounced, with 23% of schools reporting significant increases and 44% reporting slight increases. A quarter report no change, and only 8% and 1%, respectively, report slight or significant declines.

B schools that have seen an increase attribute a range of factors:

  • Increase in hiring, particularly for consulting
  • Tighter labor market
  • A desire to return to in-person events
  • Higher level of comfort with Covid
  • Earlier recruitment/hiring
  • Expanded recruiting model beyond mainstream schools

Schools that experienced neither increases nor decreases presented an equally wide range of causes:

  • Strong/consistent recruiting goals
  • Hiring freeze
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Long-standing partnerships
  • Companies staying away
  • Technical recruitment is down
  • Worry about Covid
  • No new events added this year

And those few who saw a drop? They blamed economic uncertainty and the expectation of a recession, the hiring freeze and increased focus on internship conversion. They also pointed out that recruiters were interacting with candidates in non-traditional ways off campus.

DON’T MISS VERY IMPORTANT PREFERENCE FOR MBAS: BLENDING WORKING AND SCHOOLS REPORT RISE IN RECRUITMENT FOR MBAS AND SPECIALIZED MASTERS

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