Building teams for Digital Future: Why School Mix is critical

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This is a (relatively) short article, just to summarize my thoughts that stemmed from a discussion I had this afternoon. I have a strong opinion that an Important aspect of new grad hiring is that you chose schools and programs very strategically.

Organizations have long hired within a set pattern. While it may seem absurd (hopefully) to you, many top organizations in US have been hiring in the same way for decades – same schools, same degrees, same roles and same methods (we will not discuss methods in this article though). Heck, some companies have not even changed the general structure of their “Leadership Development programs”. They were probably great programs….but 30-40 years ago.

But then some executives at these companies realize that the paradigms have changed. There are new roles that need to be created, new capabilities that need to be built. So what do they do ? They then force fit grads hired through the archaic processes and approach onto these roles. The results are evident in how many of these companies have struggled to cope with the Digital age.

If I were to build a team of say Digital Supply Chain consulting professionals, which schools I go to, which programs I hire from and what type of recruitment methods I use- will define whether I will have a successful talent pipeline in my organization or not.

That mix…in my mind, can be a “Secret” success receipe, if formulated and executed correctly.

Great teams are like receipies. And good educational institutions have their flavors (strengths). For the same team, you need to hire people from different universities and programs, such that their skill sets, developed due to the specific specialization/strength of their program and school, perfectly complements those from other school. And if I were to then create a team to work on a project, I can build a team that I know will be ready to tackle a Supply Chain challenge using Analytics and Digital, the way it should be- and deliver sustainable results. And develop leaders who will then formulate robust hiring strategies of their own, based on what the landscape demands.

Recruitment has become the most prominent strategic tool today. Investing in it now is the key to strong market leadership in the mid to long term in the Digital Age.

Views expressed are my own.

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