If you're looking for bright, young managers, there's one source you probably haven't considered: the nation's elite business schools. It used to be that small companies couldn't buy their way into a recruiting session at Harvard, Wharton, or Stanford, but times have changed. "The entrepreneur clubs are by far the most vigorous groups on campus," says David J. BenDaniel, an erstwhile venture capitalist who is now a professor of entrepreneurship at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. "Some of the best students are the ones attracted to small companies. That's where they figure they can learn most about running companies of their own."
For the students, the hard part is to find good companies to work for. "Typically, small companies don't recruit on campus, because they don't have the resources," says Carla Janoff, associate director of career development and placement at The Wharton School. If you can't recruit in person, you can always send placement offices a letter describing the position and salary range. At most business schools, the letter will be placed in a file of "correspondence opportunities," and the job will be listed in a placement newsletter. But the best recruitment opportunity may lie ahead: BenDaniel reports that several of the Ivy League entrepreneurship clubs are thinking about holding a job fair geared toward small companies.
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