MBA recruitment remains resilient, with nearly 9 in 10 respondents reporting that their company plans to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017, according to the 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report by GMAC.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Compensation, always a hot topic among MBA graduates, is expected to increase in the US by USD 5,000 on average in 2017. Globally, more than half of survey respondents reported that MBA base salaries will grow at or above the rate of inflation in 2017. In addition, the political uncertainty about the status of immigration and work visa policies does not seem to deter companies globally from hiring MBAs requiring legal documentation.
Demand for MBAs remains robust
Globally, 86% of companies report plans to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017, compared with 79% that hired them in 2016, according to the survey, which is based on responses from 959 employers who represent more than 628 companies in 51 countries.
Among employers who plan to hire new MBA graduates in 2017, 89% plan to increase or maintain the number of MBA holders they hire compared with 2016.
Demand for recent MBA talent is strongest in the United States and Asia-Pacific where 9 in 10 respondents plan to hire MBA graduates in 2017, an increase of six to seven percentage points compared with 2016 hiring. Employers in Latin America report the largest increase in hiring, up nine percentage points over 2016.
More than 9 in 10 Fortune 100, 500, Global 100, and Global 500, as well as publicly traded companies, plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017. In addition, nearly 75% of the responding start-ups plan to hire MBA talent in 2017, up from 52% that hired MBAs in 2016.
The survey report offers data only for MBA remuneration in the US, where the median starting salary projected for a new MBA graduate hired in 2017 is USD 110,000, an increase of USD 5,000 compared with 2016.
Median starting salaries of MBA graduates in the US in 2017 vary by industry, with consulting and finance/accounting companies offering the highest salaries (median of USD 120,000), followed by technology firms (median of USD 112,500), and products and services (median of USD 100,000).
Globally, more than half of survey respondents (52%) report that MBA base salaries will increase at or above the rate of inflation in 2017. Latin America (74% of respondents) and Asia-Pacific (59%) have the greatest share of companies that plan to increase MBA salaries either at or above the rate of inflation in 2017. Only 43% of European companies plan to increase base salaries for recent MBA hires in 2017. The majority (57%) will maintain 2016 salary rates.
Globally, a quarter of employers who plan to hire recent MBA graduates are willing to pay them a premium salary if the MBA programme was specialised. Manufacturers represent the largest share of employers (40%), by industry, who are willing to pay a premium for an MBA with a specialised degree.
Despite political uncertainty about the status of immigration and work visa policies, globally in 2017, 59% of companies plan to hire or are willing to consider hiring MBA and business masters graduates requiring legal documentation.
About 73% of recruiters in Latin America are the most likely either to have plans or be willing to hire international candidates. Two-thirds of recruiters in Asia-Pacific (66%) and Europe (64%) have plans to hire or are willing to hire international candidates. Compared with 2016, however, more European recruiters report this year that they will not hire international candidates (36% in 2017 vs. 32% in 2016).
Most US companies (55%) either plan to hire or are open to hiring an international candidate in 2017, although 45% have no such plans. In the US, the technology sector is more likely than other industries to hire international candidates — 50% report they have plans to do so in 2017, compared with 27% last year. In addition, a greater share of consulting (34%) and health care and pharmaceutical companies (31%) plan to hire international candidates in 2017.
How do employers recruit MBA graduates?
About 87% of those polled report that they work directly with universities to recruit graduate business students. Four in five employers recruit business candidates by posting jobs directly on their own company website and through employee referrals.
The most common strategy used to identify and recruit candidates across the four regions was working directly with universities. However, employers in the United States are more likely than employers in other regions to use universities as a direct recruitment resource.
Four in five employers in Latin America fill job openings by passively seeking candidates, such as searching LinkedIn for potential candidates on the basis of their posted credentials. This differs noticeably from other regions, where just over half of respondents report using passive methods to identify potential candidates.