If a recruitment agency advertises an MBB position, is it fine to apply through it? Will it be equivalent to a referral?

Application Bain BCG Boston Consulting Group MBB McKinsey recruiting
New answer on Feb 22, 2021
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 19, 2021

I want to know if it is fine to apply to MBB through a recruitment agency if they have advertised the role. Are profiles through recruitment agencies reviewed properly or are referrals still better?

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 20, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can definitely apply via an agency. It is not going to be equivalent to a referral though. Unlike a referral, they will do some internal screening and then forward your CV if suitable. The company will then make a decision.

If you can apply via referral and have the profile the agency is looking for, I would personally go for the referral route. The person referring you is going to refer you only, while the agency is going to send your profile and a number of others for the company to screen.

If you cannot find a referral though it is fine to apply via the agency.

You can find more on referrals at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,

Francesco

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Florian
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replied on Feb 22, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

It is better than no referral, however, it is not equivalent to a referral.

Before you decide going through an agency:

  • Are you applying for a very senior position?
  • Are you applying for a specialized role?
  • Are you currently working for a competitor?

If the answer is no to all three, then why not apply directly via HR?

Kind regards,
Florian

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Anonymous A on Feb 23, 2021

When you say directly via HR, is it ok to do so without a referral?

Ken
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I would only engage a recruitment agency if they are particularly keen on your profile where it's usually better if they reach out as opposed to vice-versa. The benefit is that they are usually a 'trusted' recruitment channel for the MBB, especially for targeted search such as expert consulting/specialist track, diversity hiring, etc. It's hard to compare vs. referals but if a trusted agency puts your profile forward, you have a very high chance of being interviewed.

The usual benefit is getting your profile properly reviewed as well as the agency taking care of the admin such as interview scheduling. The flip side is that you don't own the interaction with the MBB recruiter which can be valuable when trying to better understand the recruitment pipeline etc.

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Clara
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

No, it´s not comparable to a referral. Furthermore, I would not see it very common or useful, unless for very senior or specialized positions.

Cheers,

Clara

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Adi
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Unless you are going for a senior position, my personal advice will be to arrange the recruitment process yourself & go direct to the target company. Agencies act as the middle agent and are not worth it for junior positions/roles as they may not act in your best interest.

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Ian
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

You're more than welcome to apply via a recruitment agency but referrals are most certainly better.

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Udayan
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

The roles advertised through an agency are typically those that require very specific skillsets or knowledge. These are roles for which MBB may not be known (e.g., software developer) and not ones that they get 1000s of applications for everyday. It is fine to apply through the agencies for them - they will then select which profiles to send to MBB to review.

Udayan

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Henning
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Without knowing the details of this specific agency and position I would assume that it would work similarly to a referral: If the agency recommends you, then this will give you a high chance of getting the interview invite, similar to an internal referral.

Note though, that this comes at a costs: The agency will apply their own screening, so you'll basically have an additional interview with them before they forward your documents to the MBB (at least if they are worth their money).

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Gaurav
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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Short answer - yes, it's fine; it doesn't equal a referral, though.

Second, it depends on the recruitment agency & your position.

Good luck!

Cheers, GB

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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