Full-Time MBA On-campus Recruitment Goes Up: MBA CSEA Survey


The MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA) Spring 2016 Recruiting Trends Survey reveals an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time MBAs.

However, the number of B-schools reporting an increase in on-campus recruiting has fallen compared to the previous year. While 70% of the schools had reported increase in recruitment in 2015, this year only 51% said the figures had gone up.

Interestingly, 36% of the respondents stated an increase of 1-10% in recruitments this year and only 15% experienced a rise of more than 10%.

The number of schools that participated in the survey went up to 104, 12 more than the previous year. With an overwhelming 81% located in North America, the survey reflects the job market in the region.

The survey did not reveal the names of the schools but 57% of the respondents stated that their institute was ranked among the top 50 in national or international MBA rankings.

But the survey was not restricted to the top ranked schools.  The report specifies that full-time, on-campus opportunities increased for FT (full-time) MBAs regardless of a school’s ranking.

A fifth of schools in the top 20 bracket saw a fall in on-campus recruiting, while 62% of schools figuring in the 51-100 ranks reported an increase.

It is also to be kept in mind that schools not reporting an increase may not have witnessed a fall in the figures. The number of schools reporting a flat recruitment at 36% was higher than the 14% schools that reported a decrease.

Yet another factor in lesser number of schools seeing an increase in on campus recruitments could be the advent of technological innovation like video conferencing eliminating the need for recruiters to be physically present.

MBA CSEA executive director Megan Hendricks says it could be that companies don’t have as much budget as they have in the past to visit campus and were using less costly recruiting tools.

“We have also seen an increase in companies who are using virtual recruiting tools, thus minimizing the need to visit campus. And finally, some companies are targeting schools earlier in the year so on-campus visits may be lower in the spring,” she says.

MBA Internships

While 47% of the schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting, it is much lower than the 60% reported last year. Keeping with the on-campus recruiting trends, 19% of schools saw a slight fall of 1-10%. Only 2% of schools reported a 10-20% decrease in on-campus MBA internship recruiting. No school reported a fall of over 20%. Flat internship recruiting was reported by 35%.

A decrease in company-run MBA internship programs could be one of the reasons for the slowdown in on-campus MBA internship recruiting. “We have noticed an increase in the number of companies who use their internship programs to attract full-time hires, so that could be part of the reason,” says Hendricks.

Tech tops, Consulting dips, Health Rises

Technology sector recruitment maintained a 5-year trend by remaining on top with 71% of schools reporting an increase. Consulting came  second with 54%  noting a rise, a slight dip from 65% last year.  Healthcare in third position had 49% of the schools reporting an increase.

Energy industry continued its downward trend with the highest percentage of schools at 29% reporting a fall.

Boost to Start-ups

Start-ups recorded the biggest increase with 62% of schools seeing a boost. (For the purposes of the survey, ‘startup’ is defined as a company that is less than a year old.)

The survey also found a significant increase in out-of-area recruiters with 45% of schools reporting offers from firms with headquarters based outside their geographic location.


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