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  • Quick Poll: Employers Optimistic, Colleges Less Certain About Fall Plans

    April 17, 2020 | By NACE Staff

    A university relations and recruiting professional is surprisingly optimistic about fall recruiting plans, despite the impact of the coronavirus.

    TAGS: best practices, internships, operations, trends and predictions, nace insights, coronavirus

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    NACE is polling its members regarding their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The poll closes April 30. Preliminary results will be provided each Friday in April. The following analysis was made after a review of the April 17 results.

    After quickly responding to the oncoming pandemic by setting up virtual operations, employers have remained surprisingly somewhat optimistic in their hiring outlook. During the month of April, the data have remained fairly stable, with the rate of change slower than in March.

    As of April 17, most employers were not revoking any offers to full-time recruits or interns, with only a small minority revoking offers to full-time recruits. Recruiting plans for the Class of 2021 also show that most employers plan to recruit the Class of 2021 at the same levels as the Class of 2020. The biggest difference is that they plan to recruit that class using more virtual methods.

    While employers are seemingly more optimistic that they can maintain most of their plans for the fall and next academic year, colleges are more uncertain. They are managing to provide their core services of resume review, job-search advice, and general counseling via virtual methods, though they have a large degree of uncertainty as to how they will host career fairs and facilitate employer recruiting interviews.

    Employers (n = 289)

    • As of April 10, about 64% of employers surveyed were not revoking ANY offers; that figure is down to 61% as of April 17, though 23% are still considering it.
    • Although about 16% of employers are revoking offers to interns and only about 2% of employers are revoking offers to full-time recruits, the percentage of offers being revoked for full-time recruits sits at 51.5%. However, that average is based on only eight responses, so interpret this finding with great caution. Based on 55 responses, slightly more than two-thirds of offers to interns for summer 2020 are being revoked.
    • Changing slightly from results posted April 10, about 3% more offices are moving interns to a virtual program, and about 2% more offices have reduced the length of the internship by delaying the start date.
    • Recruiting for the Class of 2021 appears to be reducing slightly as well: 12% of responding employers were decreasing their recruiting as of April 10, while that is up to 15% as of April 17. In addition, a substantial 18% are still undecided.
    • A small number of employers (~2%) will attend fewer in-person career fairs this fall, instead opting for more virtual fairs.
    • By a large margin (43% to 7%), employers plan to increase their use of virtual methods to recruit the Class of 2021, although nearly 50% are still undecided.

    Colleges (n = 622)

    • 99% of career centers are continuing to connect with students virtually.
    • An overwhelming majority of career centers are continuing to provide resume review (98%), job-search advice (98%), and general counseling (93%), while fewer are still conducting workshops (73%) and career assessments (53%).
    • There’s been a little bit of movement on holding career fairs: About 5% fewer career centers (only 32%) plan to hold career fairs in person in the fall, though 28% are still undecided and are waiting to see how things unfold in the coming weeks and months before making a decision.
    • Shockingly, only 5% of career centers plan to facilitate only on-campus student interviews with employers, while about 40% plan to facilitate interviews both on campus and virtually. Compare those combined percentages (about 45%) with the 70% of career centers that indicated they will be facilitating on-campus interviews in NACE’s upcoming 2019-20 Career Services Benchmark Survey report. The 25% difference is explained perfectly by the 25.2% of offices that report they will use a virtual platform to facilitate employer interviews.
    • Virtually unchanged from last week, about 7% of schools provide financial support to students if their paid internship has been revoked, and most students will be at ease to know they will still receive credit for their internship if it is changed from in person to virtual.

    For the latest information about the impact of coronavirus on our field—including results of the quick polls NACE is conducting among its membership and the ways members are responding to the pandemic—see NACE’s Coronavirus Updates page