• What Employers Want From Career Center Partnerships

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    August 7, 2013

    Career services offices that can offer a more targeted approach to sourcing will enjoy a distinct advantage with employers of all sizes, say Marie Artim, vice president, talent acquisition, at Enterprise Holdings, and Dan Black, Americas director of recruiting for Ernst & Young and NACE president. In the book “Leadership in Career Services:Voices from the Field,” Artim and Black write that the obvious place to start is with career fairs.

    They identify several strategies for customizing career fairs. Artim and Black suggest that:

    • Arranging the room by industry or discipline is an easy first step that career services professionals can take toward making the fairs more focused and “user-friendly.”
    • Assigning specific times or days for students to attend based on major, location preference, class year, and so forth is also a good tactic, particularly at large institutions.
    • If resources and logistics permit, one of the best approaches they’ve seen is offering several smaller career fairs, each of which is focused on a particular group of employers. A “banking fair” or “journalism day” will go a long way in providing the most tailored opportunities for both students and employers.
    • Further qualifying student attendees by requiring that they have either declared their major in the targeted discipline or have taken a minimum number of courses will further enhance the effectiveness of the event.

    Artim and Black point out that most career services professionals already take an active role in coaching and guiding students toward appropriate employment opportunities. While employers understand that career services organizations have a duty to advocate for and promote all their students, any efforts made to proactively find a good match for both the employer and the student is viewed as a real value-added effort, they write. Some of the best practices they’ve seen in this area include:

    • Holding annual meetings to discuss the changes in hiring needs and necessary qualifications, skills, and so forth.
    • Collaborating with and introducing faculty to help establish connections that might not exist between the employer and targeted academic departments.
    • Performing an initial review or quality check to ensure that student applicants meet the minimum qualifications of a job posting.
    • Recommending to employers student clubs, activities, events, and so forth that might help recruiters identify targeted candidates.
    • Seeking out associations or consortia that provide employers with access to students with desired majors and backgrounds from multiple colleges or universities. This is particularly helpful to smaller institutions.

    There is no shortage of ideas on how career services can customize services to all their clients, including employers. Artim and Black recommend that if you’re not sure where to begin, ask your employer partners for suggestions or ideas.

    For more about “Leadership in Career Services: Voices from the Field,” see https://www.createspace.com/3943467.