6 Recruitment trends impacting MBA students

Digitalisation of the recruitment process, social media as a recruitment tool and increasing global mobility are just some of the recent trends that impact today’s and future MBA candidates. GLOBAL…
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10 Mar 2019

Digitalisation of the recruitment process, social media as a recruitment tool and increasing global mobility are just some of the recent trends that impact today’s and future MBA candidates.


With reductions in HR budgets and staff, and the growing influence of overseas locations for many global firms, going global increasingly means going local in terms of recruitment. Small teams of centralised HR work closely with local representatives in every region and country to ensure they hire the best talent at minimal cost. Decision-making power is increasingly moving to the regions where the bulk of hiring is going on. MBA candidates from emerging markets, who often seek headquarter roles in developed markets, need to understand that career growth potential is making a clear shift to their home regions. With increasingly tight immigration legislation in countries like Singapore, the UK and the US, firms have an incentive to use internal transfers of global talent instead of lengthy, costly and complex immigration procedures.

Impact on MBA job candidates

MBA candidates need to take a longer view on global mobility in the face of these changes and business school career services need to broaden their corporate relations scope. Learn more on how EDHEC’s CareerSMART programme ensures that MBA job candidates are fully prepared for the international job market.


Innovation used to come from HQ, now it comes from all over the world and from every direction. More and more regional and corporate headquarters are localised in emerging markets. Better technology and communication allow for more collaboration, best practice sharing and internal mobility from region to region, which obviously impacts the recruitment process as well

Mind shift needed for MBA job candidates

For MBA candidates who typically prize headquarters jobs in mature economies, this means they need to understand key issues and pain points per region and even per country. A global mindset has become a basic management competency and key to reaching future leadership roles. MBA candidates as future global business leaders need to be more mobile, ready to work, come up with innovative ideas and drive initiatives from all corners of the earth. To foster a global mindset, EDHEC focuses particularly on diverse and multicultural cohorts and business trips abroad. Read more on why Diversity matters during your MBA experience.

Online application systems can take over 45 minutes to complete and leave the candidate with little insight into if, when and how feedback will be provided. These systems, designed as talent pools, have become candidate graveyards. A new model of candidate relationship management is emerging, where it will be easier to express interest first before going into a lengthy online process.

How should MBA candidates prepare for the digital recruitment process?

Rather than researching the employer only in the case of an interview invitation, you’ll need to do your homework on employers already in the early stages of the process. Follow them on social media, be passionate about them, engage and have a conversation about what you are looking for well before becoming an official candidate.


Did you follow L’Oreal’s INspiring LinkedIN campaign? This campaign saw L’Oréal source thousands of candidates, make hundreds of hires and reach people who share L’Oréal’s values. These candidates were not likely to apply to L’Oréal otherwise and so it added a whole new dimension to their talent sourcing. It cost a fraction of the price and time it would take to run traditional employer branding campaigns.

Engagement with potential employers is key

It’s no longer enough to have a great Linkedin profile. You have to engage with companies on their pages and groups. Connect with people in roles you aspire, get referred, have a conversation with them and get noticed for your passion for the brand, business and values. Go beyond a simple “Like” on company content. Be sure to comment, share, contribute, make videos, ask questions and become a part of their community. All this will build your network and visibility.


Many companies are seeing their employee referral programmes deliver impressive results while driving down costs and time spent on the recruitment process. These programmes can represent a massive cost and time reduction. What’s more, the candidate quality improves and turnover decreases with these new hires. Good talent attracts great talent they say!

MBA alumni, leverage your global network

If you are an MBA who has not contacted your personal, classmate and professional network - now is the time for you to get back in touch. Update your former colleagues, bosses, clients and business partners. Share, give and help in order to receive. This is the golden rule of networking. However, don’t be caught connecting only when you need a job. Employee referrals mean you need to stay in your network’s hearts and minds any time an opportunity comes up.


With 85% of recruiters using Linkedin and sophisticated search criteria, both in internal and public platforms and social media, recruitment has gone from mass-production to cherry-picking. Recruiters now expect and select a better fit at the pre-interview stage. They may also be in touch with more candidates who have never even thought of applying for a role.

Work on your professional online profiles

This means having impeccable online profiles with well thought out keywords. It also means that a strategic approach to your online reputation, engagement and job search is essential. You can no longer apply to job offers through simple alert feeds. MBA graduates will need to improve their strategy. They will have to reach out to managers or recruiters for information, engage in associations, clubs, groups, events and off-line activities take on new importance. It is no longer a plus to have a clear idea of what you want, take a targeted approach and do all due diligence. These are now basic standard practices.

What makes EDHEC’s Global MBA programme unique, is its successful CareerSMART programme. Regularly ranked among the top 10 in the world and #1 in France by the Economist for opening new career opportunities, EDHEC is the place to be if you want to kickstart your international career. Download our brochure to find out how EDHEC’s Global MBA could benefit YOU or watch our latest careers webinar with some of our most successful alumni to get a feeling of what you can achieve with an MBA.


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