Hiring the Best and the Brightest: A Roadmap To MBA Recruiting

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As this review is written, America is still in a recession. Layoffs abound. Hiring is down or frozen at most companies. Employers who recruited on college campuses have cancelled the offers made to graduating students. Employers have hunkered down for a tight period that may last a few months or, as some pessimists forecast, for years.While campus recruiting is down dramatically, wise employers will still visit top colleges and universities looking for the best and the brightest. If they`re just going to hire a few people, it makes sense to go for the cream of the crop. The question becomes just how to do this kind of specialized recruiting in an employment market that was highly competitive, then became quiet, but that will pick up again. Hiring top MBAs-and other highly desirable candidates-is now a strategic issue. To maintain a competitive advantage now and later when the pace picks up again, it`s essential to gain the knowledge and insight that fosters high performance and stunning results. There hasn`t been much written about this specialized field. Now there`s a book that will teach you how. Whether you`re a neophyte at this kind of recruiting or an old hand, you will learn from Taguchi.Some things change; some remain the same. Taguchi presents a wide range of accepted protocols that have not-and will not-change. All of these elements are important for recruiters to fully understand if they are to gain the needed cooperation and support of the career professionals at their targeted schools. One thing that is changing is that "compensation may have won out in the past, but nowadays it takes a whole lot more to attract and keep top talent." This is a job that must be done well, since so much is riding on your success. Reading this book, I learned that there are four phases to MBA recruiting: up-front preparation, pre-recruitment, interviews, and second rounds and offers. Cutting corners won`t work; each of these phases must be handled carefully. Each of these phases is explained for the reader in chapters 3, 4, 5, and 7. Chapter 6? Page after page of lessons learned by 15 experienced recruiters, a treasure in itself. This author has done her homework. The chapter on Best Practices and Worst Mistakes brings out more lessons to learn from. Chapter 10 is by far the largest: School Profiles of the Top Twenty Picks. For each school, the book presents an overview of the MBA program and what degrees are granted. On campus recruiting at that institution is explained, with advice, followed by a school-specific list of dos and don`ts. Other recruiting options and key go-to people are included. While this is incredibly valuable information that will save recruiters a considerable amount of time, the personal resources could become outdated quickly. Hint: use this information now!Other helpful chapters cover advice for established companies and for start-ups. The chapter on recruiting on the fly may be particularly valuable if you simply don`t have time to plan and design an elaborate recruiting program. If the economy heats up quickly or you have a fast-growing company with immediate needs, this chapter will be a vital resource. Web recruiting is explored in chapter 14, followed by a couple of chapters on retention. There is no question that developing and keeping the MBAs you hire is critical, but the title of the book is specifically hiring. It`s nice to have the obligatory retention chapters, but the book is strong without them. The three appendices provide some metrics and additional resources.Bonus insight: Sherrie Taguchi`s experience glows in this book. She gained experience as Vice President of University Relations for Bank of America and Director of Corporate Human Resources for Dole Packaged Foods. Now she`s on the other side of the desk as Director of MBA Career Management and Management Communication at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her conversational writing style gives the reader the feeling of sitting in a big, comfy chair in front of a warming fire, chatting away about how specialized college recruiting really works . . . the inside story.

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