Perspective

I was amazed to read an article, in the latest issue of Business Week, entitled, “The Professor is a Headhunter.” The article exposed a growing trend involving corporate recruiters bypassing the campus career office and making “contributions” to a professor’s program or research project in consideration for recommendations on their best students, or those who the professor feels would excel in the company’s environment. The practice even extends to teaching assistants who recommend undergrad stars. These are typically not direct payments, but the article frames a growing movement that appears to have some troublesome blurry lines. I bring this story to your attention because it highlights a fact that we have discussed before: there is serious, and mounting, competition for top young undergraduate and graduate student talent. The big investment banks, consulting companies and Fortune 500s are well-oiled recruiting machines prepared to pull out all the stops to hire the best and the brightest, as compared with real estate’s halfhearted, and often non-existent, campus recruiting efforts. This is important food for thought as the new school year approaches.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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