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by Vault Consulting Editors | October 20, 2008

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This year, Deloitte placed No. 9 on Fortune's Most Desirable MBA Employers list. As part of the firm's plans to undertake "robust" MBA hiring, it recently launched a new recruiting tool. The firm told me the campaign is a creative effort to capture the attention of the mid-20s MBA audience, which gets most of its information through electronic pathways.

Born 2 Consult viewers are greeted by an over-eager, Fred Savage/Kirk Cameron/Michael J. Fox-esque, smart-alecky adolescent asking them the magic question (if they are born to consult ? get it?) and are then asked to respond, yes or no. (For the purposes of this exercise, let's pretend you are, in fact, born to consult.) The yeses, still guided by the child acting prodigy, are directed to a page where they are asked what B-school they attend, and are then given a customized greeting pertaining to that school (Little Fred sits in an office with banners of each particular school and reminisces over the good old days in each city, ie, cheesesteaks for Wharton attendees). Moving along, viewers are then directed to the highlight of the whole thing: an amusing video of mock interviews. If that clip's not helpful enough for interested parties, the firm also provides a link to tips for actual interviews.

This recruiting tool, while not necessarily following the traditional approach, doesn't stray too far off the beaten path, either. It showcases the firm's sense of humor, personality and approachability, while conveying the necessary information that candidates will need to apply and to ace the interview process. (You can also get a sense of this personality by checking out the winning videos of the Deloitte Film Festival, in which consultants were challenged to express, through video, "What Is Your Deloitte?". I recommend the Food for Thought video, but that's just me.) As someone who works in the realm of consulting, I appreciate the originality and entertainment value of the recruiting piece, and the fact that it shows Deloitte doesn't take itself too seriously - while at the same time, putting forth a serious effort to recruit those candidates who would be the best fit.

I only imagined that MBA candidates would agree with my opinion ? until I asked them. I conducted an informal, and in no way scientific, poll of 10 MBA students, some of whom have chosen to go into consulting, and some of whom have elected other paths to enlightenment. The consensus? Unanimously, those who are going into consulting, or who have at least gone through the recruiting motions, enjoyed the video and considered it a fresh take on the traditional weed-out process, also noting that it cemented their view of Deloitte as a firm that isn't afraid to laugh at itself. (For the record, only one of the students polled has chosen Deloitte as his firm of choice). However, the students who are not going into consulting, and therefore have not experienced the absurdity of the case interviews, failed to see any humor at all - and in fact, found it difficult to see beyond Little Michael J. Fox, whom they considered to be nothing more than a bratty know-it-all.

In light of this feedback, I would call Born 2 Consult a success in the way that it does appeal to those who are interested in consulting careers (whether they were actually born to do that is another question that has stumped many a philosopher). In the end, the question that matters most is not what you're born to do, but whether your personality jives with the particular firm you're looking to join. And this recruiting piece goes a long way toward answering that question.

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