Spotlight for Career Services Professionals, April 27, 2011
How can you market your school to employers? Step one is to get a handle on what employers want and need from schools.
Employers report that they select schools to target based on a variety of criteria, including quality of programs, recruiting experience at the school, and majors offered.
But if you look beyond those basics, you’ll find that what employers are really seeking are schools that can help them achieve the goals of their recruiting programs: branding their organization to students, identifying talent early through internship programs, and demonstrating the value of their programs to their organizations, chief among them.
Branding is perhaps the most critical issue employers face. It consistently comes out on top as a goal, challenge, and concern.
Currently, employers say that taking part in career fairs, building relationships with faculty, supporting activities of student organizations, and holding campus information sessions are their most effective means of branding their organizations.
It’s important to note, however, that while these are still popular and deemed effective, employers are increasingly looking at other ways to brand themselves to students. For example, social networking as a branding tool has grown in popularity (nearly 48 percent of employers taking part in NACE’s 2010 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey said they use it to brand—up from approximately 35 percent in 2009), although, thus far, it has failed to prove effective. The point is: What is effective for employers today is dynamic, not static.