Harvard is a large organization, employing 15,000 employees. To simplify hiring, each major business unit or school is responsible for its own. The following are details regarding the Harvard Business School Recruiting process specifically. Other schools at Harvard may have different practices.
Search Job Openings
Our Application system, ASPIRE, allows you to search positions on a variety of criteria. You can also set up search agents to alert you when a position matching your skill set becomes available. We encourage you to regularly check our open positions as we are always hiring.
Create a Profile
If you are not ready to apply, but want to be in our database, you can upload a resume and submit a profile that will be searchable by our recruiters.
Submit an Application for each job you are interested in
To be considered an active candidate you must apply online via our ASPIRE (link) recruiting system for each position for which you want to be considered. While cover letters are not required, we do recommend that you submit one for each position. If you do not submit a cover letter with your initial application, we may ask you to submit one later in the process. Some roles may require a transcript or writing sample so be sure to read the job carefully for these details.
E-mail Confirmation of Receipt of Resume
You will immediately receive an email to confirm receipt of your application. This e-mail will reference the requisition number of the position. Please be sure to keep track of not only the number but the actual job title so you may refer back to this position.
The Human Resources department receives and reviews every resume that is submitted for each job. At times there are exceptions to this, and if it is the case that your resume was not reviewed, you will receive an email specifying that. While your resume is under review your ASPIRE status will appear as "Under Review."
Email Confirmation of Status
If you are not selected to move on to the phone screen stage you will receive an email updating you on the status of your candidacy. We do receive many applicants for each open position posted, so please expect it to take 4-6+ weeks before you receive a definitive response.
Following a resume review, the most qualified candidates are invited to have a phone interview. If you are selected you will receive a phone call from a Recruiter or the Hiring Department. During this phone interview we will be discussing information such as your employment history, the reasons for your interest in the position you have applied to, and compensation information. From there, a decision will be made regarding first round interviews. You should expect it to take one to three weeks to hear back. If you are not selected for an interview, you will receive an e-mail letting you know the status of your candidacy.
If selected for an in person interview you will meet with the Hiring Manager and you may have the opportunity to meet other members of the department where the position resides. This interview is an opportunity to get to know the manager, the department culture, and to gather more insight into the specifics of the position. These interviews will combine behavioral interview questions with resume related questions where the manager will try to gain a better understanding of your experience and how it relates to the position. If you are not selected for an additional interview you will receive a phone call from the Manager or the Recruiter within one to three weeks.
We urge you to take the time to research HBS in general, as well as the departmental role/field you are applying to. Visit www.hbs.edu for information.
Note: It is helpful to bring a few copies of your resume to every in-person interview.
Certain positions will require you to complete a skills assessment in order to evaluate a specific skill set that is necessary to perform a component of the job. If a skills assessment is required you will be made aware during the phone screen or first interview.
A second-round interview will generally involve meeting with additional members of the department where the job sits and may include meeting other employees who work closely with the position. You will also interview with the Recruiter or another Human Resources member. In this interview stage you will get a more in-depth look at the role and how it relates to the broader department and organizational structure. You should be prepared to ask questions and engage in a deeper conversation regarding what you can bring to the open position.
For senior level positions, or positions that work across many different departments, there may be additional rounds of interviews. We hope that you will take this time to absorb as much information as possible about the position and the work environment. This time is not just an opportunity for the team to evaluate you, but also your chance to ensure that HBS is the place for you.
Background Check and References
Our final step in the evaluation process involves reference and background checks. We ask that all finalists provide three professional references including at least one direct supervisor (current or past). Additionally, we will conduct a background check through a third party vendor. The exact background check to be performed will be listed on the job posting on ASPIRE.
Congratulations! Following successful completion of your references, background check and passing final candidate selection, you will receive a verbal offer from Human Resources or the Hiring Manager. We will then send official offer paperwork and partner with you as we welcome you into the HBS community!