Luxury brands have long since learned to walk the fine line between exclusivity and accessibility; the key: being able to achieve a delicate balance. Consequently, the same holds true not just for attracting customers to buy the products, but also for recruiting talented individuals who will sell and manage those products and services. In regards to the recruitment process, it is imperative to find the right balance between implementing the tried and true methods and integrating the new, innovative techniques that could garner different, and maybe even better, results. ESSEC’s LVMH Chair recently launched an experiment with a new recruitment process.
ESSEC has embodied a pioneering spirit since its creation in 1907 and continues to be a pioneer in academic excellence. Accordingly, ESSEC was the first French business school to create a chair specifically dedicated to the luxury industry and continuing on in the pioneering spirit, the LVMH Chair, founded in January 1991 in partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton Group, has decided to revolutionize the way it selects its participants. We recently spoke with Sonja Prokopec, Professor of Marketing, Specialist in luxury brand management and Head of ESSEC’s LVMH Chair, who gave us some insight in to how and why the Chair is changing the way it is doing things.
Why did you choose to change the Chair’s recruitment process?
We felt that we were not giving all applicants a chance when we were choosing them only based on a written application and a CV, so we decided video interviews were the answer to that. We started using a tool called EASYRECRUE which allows students to log on to the platform and video record their answers to our prepared questions. This gives students a different way to express themselves and communicate what can’t necessarily be conveyed on paper.
Where did you get the idea to use EASYRECRUE?
LVMH, our Chair partner, recommended the service as some of their brands already use it for the recruitment process.
How did it change the recruitment process and who was accepted to the Chair?
Thanks to the video interview, which is the first step of the recruitment process, we were able to invite students, who we would have previously rejected because they had no work experience, to participate in the subsequent group assessment step of the process. What changed was the fact that the video interviews allowed us to see that they had a very genuine interest in the business of luxury and a great personality fit - two elements we look for.
Will you continue to use it in the future?
Yes, absolutely! We would also like to share the experience with other chairs at ESSEC and with the general admissions, as this process can be implemented on a school level.
What is your key takeaway from the new process?
The fact that the video interviews were available online allowed us to streamline the evaluation process and ultimately helped us to really see and choose the best candidates possible. It was great to try something new and find that it works well.