Big Returns from a Low-Budget Approach to Attracting and Developing Talent


Due to financial constraints, a major Fortune 100 company lost or severely strained relationships with leading universities due to its revolving commitment to MBA and college recruitment. Operational and functional divisions had been recruiting their own MBAs, which contributed to the external perception of being “highly uncoordinated.” Our client successfully recovered from financial difficulties, but MBA talent still viewed them as a risky career proposition.

The CEO and CFO were concerned with the company’s insufficient pipeline of high-potential talent with general management skills.  They wanted to attract and retain the best MBA talent and support them to develop a broad understanding of their operations, including how they make money, how they attract customers, and how they maintain their operational efficiency.


The plan included three major elements: developing a compelling, contemporary talent brand; implementing a unified approach to campus recruitment; and executing an integrated emerging leadership development program for prospective MBAs.

Multiple interviews were held with senior leaders to capture the essence of the company’s value proposition, embracing their history as well as their vision for an innovative future. A rotational development program was developed based on a “shopping list” of crucible learning experiences across the businesses. Executive alumni and senior leader ambassadors participated in a targeted marketing campaign to repair campus relations and sell the new offer to MBAs.


The company went from having a 25 percent offer-to-acceptance ratio to 97 percent success in attracting qualified MBAs from targeted schools.

This success is attributable to the extensive change management program, which included building commitment and engagement amongst both internal and external stakeholders.