The “Know Your Audience” series on the HBS Recruiting Blog highlights trends in recruiting for various industries. Learn more about student interest, effective recruiting strategies, and best practices from HBS staff dedicated to your industry.

Meet the Team

Cathy Hutchinson – Director, Digital Strategy, Marketing & Corporate Relations, Career & Professional Development

Molly DeCastro – Recruiting Relations Manager, Career & Professional Development

Cathy and Molly work closely with technology companies as they develop and execute their recruiting strategy at Harvard Business School. They also engage with students through coaching, the student Tech Club, and educational programs and have a finger on the pulse of student interest. Get to know this experienced team as your key partners in recruiting for technology at HBS.

What Students Want

Student interest in the technology sector remains high with 20% of students accepting jobs joining technology companies after graduation. As you know, there are many different types of technology companies and roles within them, so it’s important to note the nuances.

Regarding specific sectors of technology, interest in the internet services and software space has been consistently strong. Students are also joining technology companies that overlap in retail, heath care, and other direct to consumer industries as they find roles in companies that align directly with their specific interests. There is diversity across the size of companies students are interested in as well, from startups to high growth to the Fortune 500.

Product management continues to be a popular functional area for students eager to use their general management degree to work cross-functionally and have ownership across the product lifecycle. Cathy also noted that “more students are seeing opportunities outside of product management as well and are interested in business development, product marketing, business operations, and corporate strategy.” Therefore, Cathy and Molly encourage companies considering hiring at HBS to think about all of the different functions where MBA grads could make a positive impact.

The Value of Transparency

In her coaching conversations with students, Cathy has heard the following sentiment time and time again: “students want to do well and do good.” As they seek out opportunities, students are focused on the goal of building a successful career while making a positive difference in the world. Molly echoed this point, saying that students are less concerned about what has been defined as a fun culture and instead “want to feel like the company aligns with their values.” This sentiment covers both company culture, as well as its products, services, and customer strategy.

To connect with students, share with them what your company believes in and show them how you care for your employees and customers. Students are drawn in by your passion and want to see you care about your products.

Furthermore, when your company has faced challenges, address them with students head on. “Technology companies are in the forefront of news and media and as such they really need to be transparent and think about their messaging to students. How are you handling issues with privacy, data breeches, or company culture? Talk about it.” said Molly. Cathy added, “Students are going to be asking the questions, so share your point of view on challenges and issues facing technology companies today so students know where you stand.”

Finding the Right Skill Sets

HBS is a general management MBA program and our students are well equipped to take on general management roles across sectors. This is great news for companies seeking students with strong business acumen and leadership skills. However, Cathy and Molly will often remind technology companies that in addition to their general management training, HBS students bring varied experiences and skills into the classroom and into the workforce. Specifically, if you are seeking students with a combination of technical math, science, and engineering skills and business skills, there is a significant portion of the class with STEM undergraduate degrees.

Additionally, students in the MS/MBA joint degree program between HBS and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science bring a particularly unique set of skills and are interested in combining their engineering, design, and business expertise to benefit your organization. Graduates of this program are exceptionally qualified to join technology startups, manage engineering teams, and serve as product managers.

To find the students who are the right fit for you, use tools like the HBS Resume Book and filter by joint degree program, undergraduate majors, industry experience, and functional experience. You can also connect with the Tech Club to include a job posting in their newsletter or let students know who they can reach out to at your organization for more information.

The Power of Remote Recruiting

It wasn’t long ago that campus recruiting specifically meant on-campus recruiting, but that is no longer the case. “You don’t have to come to campus to be successful at HBS, you can do everything virtually.” said Molly. This has actually become the norm as many recruiting partners who have hired students year over year do a combination of in person and remote recruiting.

Cathy emphasized this point and added “If you’re able to visit HBS, that is still very impactful. However, we work with many companies that never set foot on campus. You’re a technology company, so students expect virtual recruiting to be a part of the process. Today, it’s more about the personal connection & communication – how that happens is up to you.”

At HBS, our recruiting options are purposely flexible allowing you to use our scheduling tools for informal conversations and interviews around student class time, or post links to videos or online presentations. We have structures in place for on-campus recruiting if you would like to use that option, but it’s in no way required or necessary.

In fact, sometimes the simplest approaches are often the best. “You don’t need to overly complicate things or have a huge virtual event or webinar. Instead, have HBS alumni or an employee in the role a student would be hired into accessible to have calls or video chats using a platform you are comfortable with. Accessibility is the key thing. Students want someone they can talk to who can give them the straight scoop and an inside look into the company,” said Cathy.

Partner with HBS

Cathy and Molly are here to partner with technology companies to help you foster connections with HBS students and meet your hiring goals. The key message they want to get across: “No matter how big or small your recruiting team, how many people you are looking to hire, or what time of year it is, reach out to us to talk through your needs.”

To discuss your recruiting strategy, from initial student outreach, to posting a job for free on our recruiting platform, to remote recruiting, contact Cathy and Molly.