Oh, the places you'll go
September 14, 2018
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Dr. Seuss has always been one of my favorite authors of all time. I love that, in the world of Dr. Seuss, nothing is impossible. Eggs can be green; hills and mountains can be blue; and the sea can be pink.
This generation is defined by being the most educated and most traveled. They have been brought up to believe that the world is their oyster, and that they can create and bring value to the world from a young age. They see things simply, powerfully — unafraid to speak their minds. They come into the workforce with a desire to do meaningful work, and to contribute to improving the world we live in. Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule. However, this generation, like every generation before, joins the workforce believing that they can make the world a better place and create a better future for themselves.
It is with this source of inspiration that my HR leadership team set out to reimagine our campus candidate and onboarding experiences. We believe that human ambition is GREATER THAN obstacles, and potential is GREATER THAN pedigree. It is a journey I undertook with my team, believing that we can indeed transform experiences and make a positive impact to the many candidates that come our way in search of career fulfillment at Accenture.
Our philosophy is simple: We believe in the power of humans and technology coming together to deliver a differentiated outcome for our organization and an outstanding experience for our candidates. Our approach is anchored firmly in our desire to help each person to achieve career fulfillment and thrive with us.
This immersive, day-in-the-life experience uses virtual reality technology that showcases a firsthand snippet of what it feels like to work with us. From our previous events, we saw that applying technology to what was a more traditional roadshow approach drew in the crowds. But, more importantly, according to our post-event survey, 81% of those who came by to experience it and engage with us were interested to explore a career with Accenture.
This new approach leverages heavily on gamification and competition to draw out the best in our candidates, allowing us to better assess their potential. We’re breaking through the traditional recruiting processes that are riddled with biases at each step of the way, from the recruiter to the interviewer. Unleashing the power of neuroscience and analytics allowed us to select the best candidates based on their potential and not our biases. This is critical to finding individuals with a strong proclivity to the consulting type of work that we do. These skills sets are not always honed through the education system and grade point averages are not indicative of the innate capabilities that we are searching for.
The new evaluation approach that we developed with our business leaders tests 21 key competencies that make for a great consultant at Accenture. The experience compresses a day in a life of a consultant into 12 hours. Candidates are tested on both individual and team-based challenges, pushed to elevate their thinking and process large amounts of information at speed. In the process of stretching themselves, they learn the basics of design thinking, working in an agile way and communicating effectively by doing.
Our Elevate Experience has changed the way our recruiters, candidates and business assessors interact in a game-changing way. Through this process, we have uncovered individuals who we would not have found otherwise. We achieved a recruiting mix of 66% female without compromising on quality. This is what happens when we see past our biases and where potential is GREATER THAN pedigree.
I started my career in 2000 at Accenture. Eighteen years later, I still vividly remember my first day: the dark blue suit I wore, the faces of the people in my ‘start group’ and learning the term ‘green beans’, a fond way of referring to newbies at Accenture. It was our hope that we would create a meaningful first impact on all who walk through our doors on the first day with us through our revamped new joiner orientation – Thrive! We turned a boring old office tour into an ‘Amazing Race’, we decluttered heavy information downloads and focused on the things that really mattered. We encouraged dialogue with interactive conversations through our Life at Accenture panel. We enabled new joiners to navigate our wealth of digital assets and tools through a hands-on team based challenge. We laughed at ourselves — at our ability to coin an acronym for everything — and got the new joiners acquainted with our repository of ACNronyms. Perhaps my favorite part is the bit where we tell our stories — stories of how we come together as a team to improve the way the world works and lives, how we live out our core values every day and how we are GREATER THAN together.
Architecting these experiences and linking them together has been both hugely challenging and rewarding. The team worked through many low moments to get us across the finishing line. In the process, we flexed new muscles and built new skills that I am most proud of. We are a team that dares to try.
When we are ready to slay sacred cows, when we are ready to start afresh, the impossible becomes possible. Oh, the places we will go (Dr. Seuss, 1990).
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