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  • Quick Poll: Employers Waiting to See Colleges’ Fall Plans

    June 01, 2020 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    NACE researchers analyze the impact of the coronavirus on the employment prospects of the college-educated workforce.

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

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    NACE’s third round of Coronavirus Quick Polls—which focused on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on operations and plans for the fall—concluded on June 1. NACE has launched its June Quick Poll, which will continue tracking developments related to COVID-19. The June quick polls will cover job offers (e.g., revocations, delayed start dates) and plans for fall 2020. Updates on results from the poll will be available weekly (June 8, 15, 22, and 29), with final results posted on July 1.

    As NACE has seen play out in its Coronavirus Quick Polls held throughout May, employers are delaying making decisions until they have more information about the fall plans of their college counterparts. To fully plan, employers want to know if their target schools will be operating from campus, virtually, or implementing some type of hybrid arrangement.

    While a large group of employers—39 percent—indicated plans to stay on their standard recruiting schedule, another 38 percent are still undecided on their plans and waiting to see how the situation continues to unfold. Although we have been in the grips of this pandemic for months, there is still a lack of clarity about the future of the economy.

    One area that bears watching is the way in which employers target the schools at which to recruit. By the end of May, 17 percent of recruiting offices noted plans to make their list of target schools more geographically compact. Another 48 percent, however, were still undecided on how or if they will change their list of target schools, most likely waiting to see if schools return to campus before deciding.

    On the other hand, the May quick polls showed that colleges have shown deeper cuts, spending freezes, and greater uncertainty in planning for the fall than have employers. For example, about 50 percent of colleges implemented spending freezes compared to about 20 percent of employers. Another instance of uncertainty is demonstrated by the 55 percent of colleges that remained undecided about the timing of their career fairs in fall 2020.

    One interesting development is career center staff engaging students via phone. More than three-quarters of responding career centers—78 percent—reported making phone calls to reach students. This type of engagement is being done by Davenport University and adheres to a suggestion from Mary Scott, President of Scott Resource Group, detailed in a recent Spotlight story titled “Top Perks for Interns Can Be Adapted for Virtual Workplace”:

    “Of course, the importance of virtual meetings has already increased tremendously during the coronavirus pandemic. To grow ties to interns, ‘plain old vanilla phone calls’ are also solid tools. Scott says that students she has interviewed have discussed the importance of getting a phone call; they perceive such calls as an indication that they matter to the organization.”

    Full results from NACE’s May Coronavirus Quick Poll can be found on NACEWeb.