What Recruiters Want Part II: Insights from Amazon and McKinsey & Company

MBAchic Corporate Recruiter Applicant Interview

Demand for MBA graduates has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and in the tech industry, the need is expected to accelerate, as we reported in the first installment of our recruitment series.

MBAchic spoke with recruiters at Amazon and McKinsey & Company to learn what skills they’re looking for when hiring MBAs and how their company recruitment practices were impacted by COVID.

Opportunities for MBA grads

Both Amazon and McKinsey actively recruit MBA graduates and that didn’t change during the pandemic. In fact, McKinsey says this summer’s intern class in North America was the largest they’ve ever had.

The 2020 summer cohort was one of the largest, as well. The consulting firm switched from an in-person to a virtual summer program last year, but still honored all full-time offers. McKinsey plans to hire more full-time employees this year than ever before, including generalist consultants, as well as professionals with an interest in areas like healthcare, operations, and data science.

Amazon increased hiring during the pandemic, as well, and plans to hire more than 1,000 full-time and intern MBAs this year.

The tech giant hires MBAs in seven roles, including retail leadership development, finance leadership development, marketing, and technical product management. The company continues to see an increase in demand for technical MBAs, specifically for their technical product manager positions.

Qualities they seek in new hires

According to a 2021 corporate recruiters survey featuring more than 550 recruiters, companies are looking for MBA graduates and general graduate management talent with strategic thinking skills, strong communication, and versatility. They also value relational and leadership skills.

Recruiters we spoke with at Amazon and McKinsey agree.

“Amazon looks for MBAs who are comfortable with both high-level strategic thinking and “hands-on” execution – with a consistent track record of driving results and using data to inform decisions,” Amazon says. “An interest in technology is valued, which can be demonstrated by academic or work experience, SQL or programming experience, or participation in tech-focused MBA projects or clubs.”

While the corporate recruiters survey found that companies are more likely to recruit from “leading” business schools, Amazon leaders say they consider great talent from all schools. To date, the company has offered full-time job offers to candidates from more than 100 business schools around the world, including top-ranked institutions in the U.S., U.S. schools ranked 21+, global business schools, and schools with programs that align with specific roles.

McKinsey recruiters say they hunt for good problem solvers, and quality candidates can demonstrate they have through fellowships, scholarships, case study interviews, summer jobs and other accomplishments.

“In addition to problem solving, we look for three other main abilities – entrepreneurial drive that helps people innovate and overcome obstacles, inclusive leadership that enables people to lead teams well and create a sense of belonging where everyone can be at their best, and a dedication to personal impact,” says Kristin Altenburg, associate director of recruiting at McKinsey.

Altenburg says the firm views scores on tests like the GRE and GMAT as “interesting metrics,” but haven’t required them for more than 10 years.

To share your advice and experiences in recruiting, or business school in general, please reach out here. If you are actively looking to fill open roles at your companies, please head here to tap into our global network of smart, talented MBAs and professionals.

MBAchic Corporate Recruiter Applicant Interview

Images via PxHere

About the author

Author profile
Shernay Williams
Shernay Williams

Shernay is a mom, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner who's been fortunate to spend her entire professional career telling stories. She has more than a decade of experience as a TV, print, and radio journalist for local and national news outlets. In 2016, she launched a content firm to help nonprofits and businesses tell their stories more strategically. Her passions: mom empowerment, entrepreneurship, and self-development.

She lives outside of Baltimore with her two sons.

Related Articles