A major university asked me to submit a proposal. The school is interested in hiring “a career placement professional” to “bring jobs to the table” for its newly-minted Executive MBAs (EMBAs). The school “has career placement but it does not meet the needs of the EMBA program.” The school also has “career coaches,” but it wants “to do something apart from the ordinary.” It wants to “raise the bar.”
In summary, the school graduates EMBAs. It has career coaches for them, but the coaching isn’t yielding jobs. And it has a career placement service that doesn’t yield jobs, either.
This school wants to know if I’m interested in being “embedded” in its EMBA program. The “career placement professional” it brings on “must bring jobs to the table.”
Here’s the response I sent:
It sounds to me like [your school] is looking for something quite ordinary – a “career placement professional.” Today’s economy is awash with them.
Here’s the problem: You hire a placement professional to put your EMBAs into jobs. What is [your school] going to pay this individual? $50k? $100k? $150k? With a bonus every time he or she places someone?
Here’s the competition: Every company that’s trying to fill top executive slots is working with contingency headhunters who are paid 25% or more of the exec’s new salary upon placement. The headhunter that places 4 or 5 execs will earn around $200,000. Inside a year, the headhunter will earn fees in excess of $1 million.
Your “placement professional” will be competing with headhunters who have far more at stake than a salary or even a bonus. The headhunters will leave your “career placement professional” in the dust. How is that doing something apart from the ordinary?
(You could try to get a headhunter to come place your EMBAs, but a good headhunter will not limit himself to just your pool of EMBAs. The best headhunters don’t find jobs for people. They fill positions for their clients, and a headhunter would soon put your EMBAs into competition with other candidates, because that’s what the headhunter does. That’s what he’s paid to do.)
I’m concerned about the statement, “This organization must bring jobs to the table.” [Your school] is graduating EMBAs who are ready and able to run corporations. And someone has to bring jobs to them?
A mother lion brings meat to her young cubs, but to perpare them to survive she shows them how to go out and hunt on their own. Your school must teach its EMBAs how to hunt.
How is an EMBA who can’t find himself a job going to survive, and recruit and hire people for his own company?