McKinsey takes a through cycle approach to hiring, meaning they are continuing to recruit. They are also honoring the offers already extended to full-time consultants as well as summer interns. The firm doesn't see any major changes to their hiring approach and have no plans to cut staff.
McKinsey’s summer internship program is continuing, with health and safety measures in place. The North American internship program has begun and is fully virtual, with the third and final group set to start at the end of June.
The company is also planning to recruit at typical levels this Fall. Many school career services are asking employers to recruit virtually through to the end of 2020 for health and safety concerns, and so McKinsey’s hiring will follow suit until at least the end of the year.
A lot of hiring at Bain & Company had already taken place before the pandemic hit. Keith Bevans, global head of consultant recruiting at Bain, explains that for graduates full-time recruiting typically happens in the fall—MBA internship recruiting happens primarily in January.
He adds that those already with offers before the pandemic hit will be onboarded virtually and that their work will be carried out online like the rest of the industry.
Should MBAs be worried?
A Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey snapshot of more than 1,000 prospective b-school candidates showed that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has amplified the concerns candidates have over the jobs market.
The proportion of b-school candidates that said the job market was an area of concern due to COVID-19 increased from 13% on March 15th 2020 to 51% on April 15th—for MBA candidates specifically, that figure rose to 53%.
Should MBA graduates be worried about their job prospects this year? If they had their sights set on the travel, hospitality, or sports industries, then the heavy impact on these sectors may take its toll.
Nonetheless, healthcare, technology, and consulting firms may see an uptick in the number of hires, especially the latter. An MBA could in fact help you stand out in the crowded jobs market to come.
Hamza Mudassir (pictured right), an MBA graduate from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, believes consulting firms will require MBA graduates as they grapple with one of the key challenges to come out of the pandemic for businesses: digital transformation.
The MBA taught him how digital business models work, as well as giving him a helicopter view of an entire business. He believes digital savvy MBA grads will be in high demand in the next few years.
That’s because the operational ability of a business now rests on its digital infrastructure, as entire workforces work remotely, and international business trips are replaced by virtual conference calls.
Chris Garnett (pictured below, right), head of postgrad careers and employability at Alliance Manchester Business School, echoes Hamza’s point. Although he says that recent graduates are naturally worried and need to be flexible and pragmatic in their approach to their post-MBA career, the value of the degree goes far beyond their first job out of business school.
“Whilst you may need to reassess in the short term, you have invested in yourself and your career for the long term, and that will pay dividends,” he says.
“Everything is changing around us so much at the moment that it’s hard to not be concerned, but for people considering doing an MBA there is a strong argument that leaving the job market for a while at the moment makes sense.”
Whereas 10 years ago, post-financial crash, some governments opted for austerity measures, this time around they seem to have agreed that stimulus is the best way forward—that can only be good for business, says Tony Somers, employer engagement director at HEC Paris’ Career Center.
At HEC Paris, he says that they are receiving (so far) few, if any negative signals regarding recruitment in Fall 2020. Virtual recruiting activities will become the dominant feature of the recruitment cycle, leading to a possible change in the way recruiting is conducted.
The future of MBA recruiting
Companies do need to rethink the way they recruit during the pandemic, with face-to-face interviews and campus hiring not currently an option. Highered, a global talent platform, and EFMD, a management development nonprofit, have launched the EFMD Virtual Career Fair Series in response.
In the first series around 100 companies signed up to the virtual career fairs, and over 25,000 students met with 800 recruiters. Companies from Bloomberg to Coca Cola, KPMG, Amazon, and Heineken have taken part, connecting with students from schools such as Cass Business School, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), BI Norwegian Business School, and Singapore Management University (SMU).
Students can access the fairs from their tablets, smartphones, or desktops. As if it was a standard recruiting event, they can access company ‘stands’, chat with recruiters, view and apply to jobs.
The CEO of Highered, Bernt Blankholm, explains that it removes the need for companies to visit only a select number of campuses, and expands the reach for business schools who might only hold recruiting fairs with local companies. It puts them all in the one place.