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  • Employers Taking “Wait-and-See” Approach to College Recruiting for Fall

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Employers are delaying making decisions about their plans for college recruiting this fall until they have more information about the plans of their college counterparts, according to the final results of a month-long poll conducted by the National Association of College’s and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s May Coronavirus Quick Poll—the third in a series of surveys the association is conducting to assess the impact of the pandemic on college recruiting—revealed that to fully plan for college recruiting this fall, employers want to know if their target schools will be operating from campus, virtually, or implementing some type of hybrid arrangement, which is a mix of in-person and virtual operations.

    While a large group of employers (39 percent) indicated plans to stay on their standard recruiting schedule for next academic year, another 38 percent are still undecided on their plans and waiting to see how the situation continues to unfold.

    “One area that bears watching is the way in which employers target the schools at which to recruit,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director. “Nearly half told us they were still undecided about whether they will change their list of target schools.”

    Poll results showed that, by the end of May, 18 percent of recruiting offices planned 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.

    In fact, 61 percent of responding colleges and universities reported that they are still unsure of their plans for being on campus during the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, an increasing number of college career centers are planning for their campuses to function in a “hybrid” mode in fall 2020—a blend of in-person and virtual operations—and then return to in-person mode for spring 2021. The hybrid figure started at 22 percent on May 11, but had steadily risen to 28 percent by the month’s end.

    About NACE’s May 2020 Coronavirus Quick Poll: The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a poll from May 4 through the end of May that focused on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on operations and plans for the fall. Due to the fluidity of the situation, respondents could return to the survey each week to change their answers to reflect the changes in their office’s policies, providing a more accurate snapshot of what is happening in real-time. Through May 31, 339 employers and 600 colleges and universities responded. NACE posted final results from the May poll on its website. NACE launched its fourth poll in the series on June 1, which will cover job offers (e.g., revocations, delayed start dates) and plans for fall 2020; it will run through June 30. Updates on results from the poll will be available weekly (June 8, 15, 22, and 29), with final results posted on July 1.

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.