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Employers are strongly committed to in-person college recruiting activities this fall as they are largely unencumbered by travel restrictions that organizations imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results of a poll recently conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

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Respondents to NACE’s Quick Poll on Fall Recruiting and Career Services indicate that nearly 70% of their focus will be on in-person recruiting, now that travel restrictions have been lifted for the vast majority.

“Furthermore, four out of five employers said they are not preparing to pivot their plans in response to a surge in COVID and/or monkeypox this fall,” adds Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director.

“This is evidence of the high-value employers place on high-touch college recruiting and the competition in the current job market to bring top interns and new college hires into their organizations. Employers are determined to make personal connections and grow their relationships with both the college students they recruit and the schools these students attend.

“That doesn’t mean that virtual is out: In fact, thanks to the lessons learned over the past couple of years, virtual recruiting is a key part of employers’ strategy; according to respondents, nearly one-third of their recruiting efforts will be conducted virtually.”

VanDerziel says that another key indicator of the value employers place on college recruiting is that they are expanding their college recruiting efforts, both in terms of the timelines they set and the academic years of the students they recruit.

About one-quarter of employers have changed the cadence of their college recruiting schedule, with nearly all of these respondents saying they are starting earlier in the academic year.

The poll also revealed that more than one-third will start recruiting earlier and end later than has been the case in the past. Although 42% indicate they will also be ending their recruiting cycle at the same time as in previous years, a sizable portion (37%) will be further expanding their college recruiting cycle by ending it later than they have in previous years.

“Expanding their recruiting cycle requires these employers to commit significant staff time and budget for these extended efforts,” VanDerziel explains.

To facilitate planning and benchmarking for both employers and career centers, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is conducting a quick poll that looks at fall recruiting as well as how career services offerings will be delivered. The poll will also examine how recruitment and career services delivery has shifted over time. The polls ran from August 22 through September 20, 2022; there were 185 respondents to the employer poll, while 444 institutions participated in the college poll. Full results of the NACE’s Quick Poll on Fall Recruiting and Career Services are available on NACEWeb.

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