What can you learn from Harvard Business School admission process?

March 5, 2012

After reading an article about Harvard Business School admissions, where about 12% of applicants are accepted, I think all organizations can learn one thing regarding recommendations or reference checking, and one thing about motivation assessment.
MBA applications

The HBS application includes: "'Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant.' If a person can answer that, they know the candidate well enough. We don't run around giving constructive criticism to virtual strangers."
We have seen this as well in Checkster's automated reference checking approach. When candidates provide only 3 references, constructive feedback is often limited. Since our customers average 6 responses, they often get feedback that is not staged and provides a good source of validation or discussion for the interview.
Second, motivation is hard to validate. As in the HBS application, the approach for candidates to write an essay about themselves or why they would like to work with you, is a simple and good way to have a meaningful interview discussion.
You can read the full article here.