Advice to Recruiters: Alumni Connections Trump Compensation in the War for Talent
New Research from NYU Stern & MIT professors urges companies to use employees’ alumni networks to recruit top MBA talent
Our research shows that MBAs are significantly more likely to accept an offer from a company after interacting with an alumnus from their school who works at that company.
“While money does matter when attracting talent, growth potential and other factors also play a big role in securing highly sought-after MBA candidates from top business schools,” explains Greenberg. “Our research shows that MBAs are significantly more likely to accept an offer from a company after interacting with an alumnus from their school who works at that company.”
After examining individual job search data from nearly 600 MBA students graduating from a top business school in 2009 and 2010, the authors share several key findings:
- MBAs are more than 4 times as likely to accept a job offer found through faculty or alumni networks rather than on-campus recruiting.
- Job offers received by students through strong social ties (e.g., faculty/alumni networks) are generally smaller in terms of total compensation than those derived from prior employers, summer internships or on-campus recruiting.
- “Growth potential” is the #1 reason cited by MBAs for accepting a job offer.
The article, “The Strength of Weak Ties in MBA Job Search: A Within-Person Test,” was recently accepted for publication in Sociological Science.