As we look to a new school year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your interest in our students and share some thoughts as the recruiting season begins. After almost 15 years in Career and Professional Development, there are a few things I’d like to encourage all of our recruiting partners to consider:

  • Transferable skills over previous job titles – The majority of our students are looking to apply their skills in a new industry. I’ve noticed quite a few positions have requirements along the lines of ‘previous consulting or investment banking experience’. Sure, some of our students have this background, but a great many more have functional skills that will be useful in a role with a strategic focus. Our military veterans may not have consulting on their resumes, but they absolutely understand big-picture strategy and all the elements that are important in moving an organization forward.
  • Quality over quantity – With a population as big as HBS’, it can be tempting to measure success based on how many students apply to your job or attend your presentation. We have found that over 80% of our students are the only hire from HBS in their year, which means more students looking for that ‘just-right’ fit versus being one in a big hiring class of MBAs. Use the resume database to find the dozen or so candidates that fit your profile – and invite them to a 20-minute chat. These quick conversations go a long way toward impressing a student that could be a good fit for them with your organization.
  • Intangibles over more traditional job benefits – Today’s students care more about flexibility, optionality and control than previous classes did. Highlight where your organization enables them to get the work done at their own pace and how you reward results over face time. Give examples of people who have gotten ahead without following a traditional path of promotion.

And beyond all else, be authentic. Students want to know what they are getting into; if your organization is methodical and process-oriented, don’t try to sell yourselves as footloose and fancy-free. There are plenty of students looking for all types of organizations; the best matches are made when everyone is being honest about what they have to offer. Best of luck in the year ahead!