Understanding Recruitment Options in the Spring

Carlos Amela writes words of encouragement to the MiM class of 2020 in a monthly newsletter he calls Career Tidbits.

Dear MiM Class of 2020,

Lassi Viljakainen used to work at IESE’s CDC until the Summer of last year. He decided to become a career coach and has put together a video where he explains what to do during the Spring if you are executing your job search.

In his video, he proposes that it is OK to be stressed, especially when you only have a few months until graduation, but stress can undermine your efforts and make you feel overwhelmed. Hence, it is not needed. What you should be focusing on is how you spend your time and how you organize yourself when executing your job search.

The Spring is a great time to be job searching.

Companies have their budgets approved and they know with more certainty what their needs are regarding headcount for full-time positions. By now, most of the graduate programs have already closed, so it’s prime time to focus on ad-hoc recruitment since you’ll be graduating in 3-4 months and that gives recruiters time to conduct all the necessary interviews with you for a full-time opportunity. If you are wondering what ad-hoc recruitment is, it is the opposite of structured recruitment. Ad-hoc recruitment is any headcount need that is born on the spot in a department that normally happens because either the position is newly created, or because the position became available for whatever reason. Structured recruitment, on the other hand, is recurrent (normally on a seasonal basis), implies a specific quantity of headcount (e.g. 10 positions every year), and has its own selection process and criteria for candidates, which are normally stricter than for ad-hoc positions (e.g. the candidate cannot not meet the criteria like age, experience level, education, etc… while for ad-hoc positions the lines are blurrier). One example of structured recruitment is the graduate program.

So when it comes to ad-hoc job searching, Lassi does well to give us some advice:

  • Record everything you do in your job search. Keep a spreadsheet of your target companies, people in the companies you want to contact, whether you have contacted them or not, date contacted, what’s the current situation with them, what are the next steps, dates for next steps, etc… You can be as granular as you want as long as the document is easy for YOU to understand and it keeps you motivated.
  • Do networking (alumni, professors, classmates, family, friends…). Steve Dalton defines networking as getting referrals to get interviews. In other words, networking is the process of recruiting advocacy. In average, referred candidates lead to 29% of hires, which is the highest followed by the internet job board at 23,5%, which is the website where you apply. Conclusion: it’s easiest to get in through referrals.
  • Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track. If you want investment banking, for example, don’t be afraid to reach out to companies or apply to locations that are not the most popular ones (e.g. London vs Stockholm). Another reason for going off the beaten track is that most people are on it, which means less competition for you!
  • Don’t stop searching. Just because you already applied to your dream job it doesn’t mean that you’ve made it, so there’s no point in saying, “Ok, I’m going to wait and see if they respond now that I’ve applied to my dream jobs”. Get back on the horse and keep searching/applying!
  •  Rejection is part of life. Be comfortable getting rejected. In fact, rejection teaches us to be more careful and pay specific attention to the details of the steps we are taking so that we get closer to avoiding being rejected. Sometimes rejection is a great wakeup call for looking for referrals instead of just applying through conventional means. The less afraid you become of rejection, the more angles you will have covered for that next time, because there will be a next time.

If you dedicate at least one hour to your job search every day, that means that by the end of the full week you will have completed 7 of work, which means 28 hours in the month. How much are you dedicating now? Even if it’s just thinking about what you want to do?

I’m going to leave you with a quote that I would like to invite you to ponder over: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca

Yours truly,


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Carlos Amela View more

Career Development Center Associate Director (MBA '16)

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