MLT Introduces the Experienced Hire Program: A Conversation with Katie Mangan, Director of MLT’s Experienced Hire Program
Q&A with MLT’s Experienced Hire Program Director Katie Mangan
Katie, you’ve helped launch MLT’s new Experienced Hire Program. What is this and how did it come about?
MLT’s Experienced Hire Program provides Rising Leaders at all stages of their career tailored career and job search guidance, as well as introductions to top hiring firms interested in hiring MLT talent. After several years at one company, many MLTers want to transition into a new role, functional area or industry. But they may find it difficult to know when they should make the move and whether they are taking the right next step. At the same time, our partners who know the caliber of MLT’s talent are eager to recruit not only campus and MBA hires, but also more experienced and mid-career professionals. So we brought both groups together – MLTers who want to move up in their careers and partners who want more experienced talent – and voila! The Experienced Hire program was born!
So it sounds like you’re a matchmaker!
Ha! You could say that. We are matching our Rising Leaders with outstanding job opportunities at our partner companies. We serve as a neutral but trusted partner and guide to both the MLTers and the partners, coaching both sides, so everyone wins. And, we’ve made some terrific matches!
What does the Experienced Hire program entail?
To get started, MLT alumni just sign up on our website. They get an initial questionnaire to help us understand where they are in their careers, what they are looking for, and how we can best support them short and long-term. Are they actively job-hunting and want support for their search? Are they looking to switch roles or industries? Or are they content where they are, but want to be kept in the loop about potential opportunities and networking events?
It’s important to note that all this information is kept confidential by MLT until an alum decides they want to submit their materials (resume, application, etc.) to a partner company. So if an alum is passively looking, there’s no risk that their information is being shared as a job seeker.
MLT’s Experienced Hire team will review their responses, resumes, skills, and help identify suitable roles, career paths, and companies. And, those who look like good matches for a particular position will be coached throughout the application and interview process – as we know, everyone can benefit from additional coaching. We help alumni understand the skill sets required, help them prep and provide feedback along the way.
At the same time, we talk extensively to partners to understand their needs, their culture, and what it takes to succeed in their companies. We’ve found that most partners go above and beyond to help MLT understand how best to prepare our folks, so that we can fully educate our alumni on the process as well as how best to demonstrate their experience and their personal stories.
Given that we’re in the program’s early days, what are some of your initial takeaways?
There are major differences between campus and experienced hire recruiting, which candidates don’t always expect. Once someone is no longer in campus-recruiting mode, it’s a different world. Recruiters aren’t coming to you. There are no set deadlines, timetables, or guaranteed feedback loops. As an experienced hire applicant, you have to take the initiative. You must use your network to its fullest advantage to help you get in the door. MLT adds value because we help MLTers bypass the murky application process, prep them far more on the process than they would have expected, and we can often get them feedback on their candidacy and interview so they can improve their preparedness for future opportunities.
In addition, every organization manages experienced hiring differently. There are similarities with each, but the way that partners want candidates to enter the process is often very different. So alumni are encouraged to loop us in along the way so we can help them navigate and follow the right processes for each company. With many of our companies, we can help alumni get directly to the recruiters, instead of applying online and wondering if your application will be seen by the right person or if the role is even still open.
Tell us more about MLT’s role in all of this.
We begin with a deep understanding of what our alumni and partner companies are looking for, to determine if there is a good match. We prepare our rising leaders well so they understand the job requirements, the company, and what it takes to succeed. We conduct extensive mock interviews and give real-time, constructive feedback. We keep alumni updated throughout the interview process and provide feedback so both the MLTers and the companies benefit from candid perspectives on the potential match.
As candidates get offers, we can help them through the decision and negotiation processes. Once they accept a position at a partner company, we introduce them to others – often other MLT alumni at the firm – so they get off to a strong start. And, we can even match them with a career coach – for an added fee, though some people even negotiate to have the company pay for coaching as part of their overall package!
As of today, which are the Experienced Hire Program partners?
Every organization needs experienced talent, and we are grateful though not entirely surprised that within our first year, we already have nearly 20 partners signed up. These will be ever-changing based on how the organizations engage with us (i.e., short or long term), but our current partners include Salesforce, KKR, Pandora, Citi, LinkedIn, Target, Facebook and many more. Whew!
Any other insights you can share?
For experienced hire recruiting, companies expect you to come in and perform on Day One. They are not looking for you to learn on their dime. Unlike with campus recruiting where companies are geared toward a more gradual training on-ramp, experienced hires are expected to hit the ground running. That’s a new insight for many MLTers. You may be back-filling a role, or the team has grown and there is an immediate need. The expectation is you show up and are able to do the job.
Any other advice for prospective Experienced Hire candidates?
Yes! Sign up on our website! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even if you are content now, other opportunities may be out there for you. If nothing else, you get a few more emails about job opportunities that you or one of your peers might be interested in learning about! So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
Any other closing words?
Maybe more like “Coming Attractions.” MLT’s strategy is to support MLTers at every stage of their careers, not solely at one critical transition point, and we’re well on our way. Over the next 12 months or so, you can expect news about a Rising Leader Professional Development Program for mid-career industry switches, as well as a “first year on the job” program. So stay tuned!