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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Oct 2010

MANAGEMENT: MBA Market Has Changed


Recent Western Cape Business News

Last year’s forecasts around the world for MBA recruitment in 2010 were particularly dismal due to an unstable economic environment. Despite the recession, however, companies have this year begun the process of rebuilding their leadership pipelines. This is according to Morea Josias, Career Services Manager at the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB).

The upturn in recruitment was recently confirmed by the results of the 2010 Corporate Recruiters Survey, a survey of business graduates' employers.

The survey, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, in cooperation with MBA Career Services Council and The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), polled almost 2 000 companies worldwide and included 171 of the US Fortune 500. According to the research, 55% of employers this year were planning to hire recent MBA alumni, up 5% from 2009.

It goes on to explain that the strongest hiring this year is expected in consulting and health care, with 80% of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and 73% of consulting firms planning to hire MBA graduates. Additionally, graduating MBAs will see a large number of opportunities in marketing and sales. Almost half of all the companies surveyed planned to hire in these areas followed by the financial sector.

Josias comments that in 2010 the UCT GSB has also been affected by specific trends. “We have seen an increase in MBA hiring from the financial sector – up from 2009 by 20%. Interestingly, other sectors such as the IT and telecommunications sectors have improved their MBA recruitment, from previously having no presence on the GSB recruitment list to forming about 10% of companies on the list this year. Also on the list of companies still making a fair contribution to MBA hiring in 2010 are management consulting companies and retail organisations,” she says.

She adds that a key trend this year is that MBA employers globally have become a lot more resourceful in their recruitment strategies.

Mike Iserson, Founder of NC3 (the US’s largest provider of administrative and logistical support to campus recruitment programmes for Fortune 500 companies) says that they have seen a greater sensitivity to recruiting costs at the MBA level.

Employers are still hosting recruitment events, but they are keeping them simple and understated,” he says. According to Iserson, companies are still visiting US campuses but are combining multiple recruiting events into the same visit. They are also continuing to make themselves available to students who want to speak to current employers about their experiences, realising that students appreciate the personal touch.

In South Africa, this trend is also noticeable says Josias. “At the UCT GSB especially there has been a steady increase in recruitment activities – though not the same as before the recession hit. Companies are thus still cautious about their spending and are also combining their recruitment activities and working more closely with the business school to establish one-on-one contact with potential candidates,” she explains.

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