Just a few years ago, top-tier MBA candidates scrambled to get on the recruiting lists of consulting companies, but the tables are turning. With the consulting industry at large continuing to expand, human capital consulting in the U.S. alone is forecasted to increase at an average of 3.3 percent per year to $30.5 billion in the next five years. MBA candidates from leading business schools often receive multiple offers from competing consulting firms. Despite this shift in the recruiting equation, on-campus recruiting has been relatively static and constrained.
With Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice experiencing consistent double-digit revenue growth, we decided to address its need for top MBA talent from an unusual angle.
Enter the National MBA Human Capital Case Competition. Each year, Deloitte holds the competition at The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, providing a platform for MBA students to demonstrate their ability to solve business problems with human capital solutions. Having just completed its seventh year in October 2013, the event has helped us to creatively and proactively engage students outside of conventional recruiting channels.
The program has been transformed into a marquee recruiting tool by simultaneously giving Deloitte and the event’s co-funder, General Electric, a unique environment in which to evaluate candidates as future colleagues. In addition to evaluating candidates at campus career fairs, workshops and other social events, the competition event allows Deloitte to distinguish itself from competitors by taking a different approach to evaluate and strengthen relationships with candidates over the course of a long weekend. Deloitte has been extremely successful on this front with greater than a 95 percent offer/acceptance rate from competition participants.
It turns out that the case competition has been an extraordinarily successful and worthwhile recruiting ground — Deloitte has identified and hired more than 30 participants as full-time human capital practitioners across the Commercial and Federal practices, along with many additional summer associates. This tool has allowed us to escape the confines of standard recruiting and observe some of the brightest minds provide innovative and high-quality recommendations to complex business issues.
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This year’s Human Capital Case Competition received an overwhelming amount of interest, with 23 teams from 18 schools submitting applications, highlighting the growth in interest in human capital consulting. This year’s case asked participants to address the challenges of a large shipping and oil and gas company as it grew into a multinational conglomerate. The top 12 applicant teams competed, presenting logical and detailed analyses of the case along with proposals of creative and feasible solutions.
The case competition has attracted the brightest minds from the nation’s top MBA programs.