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  • The Most Used, Effective Intern/Co-op Recruiting Methods

    June 14, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Internships
    A college student meets a recruiter on-campus.

    TAGS: internships, trends and predictions, surveys, experiential education, spotlight, co_ops

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Career/job fairs and on-campus recruiting continue to stand out as the most highly effective techniques that employers use to recruit interns and co-ops, according to results of NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey.

    In terms of effectiveness, 85.5 percent of respondents considered on-campus recruiting and 80.6 percent of respondents felt career/job fairs are effective recruiting techniques, by far the most highly rated. (See Figure 1.)     

    Career/job fairs and on-campus recruiting were also among the most widely used methods by employers recruiting interns and co-ops as 98.5 percent and 91.2 percent of respondents, respectively, used them.

    The survey found that other widely used and highly effective techniques included job listings on career center websites, job listings on corporate websites, on-campus information sessions, and referrals from current/former interns and co-ops.

    On the other hand, the least used and least effective methods were also the most passive: advertising in campus newspapers, general recruitment advertising, and—in particular—online networking (i.e., social media).

    The use and effectiveness of techniques for recruiting interns did not differ in any notable way from the techniques for recruiting co-ops. (See Figure 2.)

    Altogether, these findings indicate that “high touch” techniques, in addition to job listings, are essential for successfully recruiting interns and co-ops, and that more passive methods have limited effectiveness. These findings are consistent with those from NACE’s annual Student Survey reports that have regularly found that job-seeking students not only prefer “high touch” interaction with employers, but are, in fact, more successful in the job search when they connect with employers in that capacity.

    NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted from November 21, 2016, to February 17, 2017, from NACE employer members; there were 276 respondents, representing 26.4 percent of all eligible respondents. The 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey report will be available later in June.

    Figure 1: Techniques for recruiting interns, 2016-17

    Recruiting Technique % Used % Effective
    2016 2017 2016 2017
    Career/job fairs 97.4% 98.5% 75.9% 80.6%
    Job listings: Career center websites 95.7% 94.9% 51.8% 55.8%
    Referrals from current/former interns 87.8% 92.6% 50.5% 50.8%
    Job listings: Corporate website 87.8% 92.6% 58.4% 60.3%
    On-campus recruiting 86.1% 91.2% 82.2% 85.5%
    On-campus information sessions 77.4% 84.6% 59.6% 50.4%
    Outreach to student groups 72.2% 77.9% 38.6% 55.7%
    Cultivating key faculty 80.9% 77.2% 46.2% 39.0%
    Alumni referrals 81.7% 76.5% 28.7% 32.7%
    Online networking 52.2% 56.6% 15.0% 13.0%
    Recruitment advertising 45.2% 44.1% 25.0% 18.3%
    Open houses 28.7% 39.0% 48.5% 32.1%
    Advertising in campus newspapers 17.4% 11.0% 20.0% 20.0%
    Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers.
    In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “effective” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very effective” (4) or “extremely effective” (5) on a 5-point scale.

    Figure 2: Techniques for recruiting co-ops, 2016-17

    Recruiting Technique % Used % Effective
    2016 2017 2016 2017
    Career/job fairs 83.6% 94.5% 78.3% 71.0%
    Job listings: Career center websites 90.9% 93.2% 52.0% 52.9%
    Referrals from current/former co-ops 80.0% 89.0% 47.7% 43.1%
    Job listings: Corporate website 76.4% 84.9% 57.1% 53.2%
    On-campus recruiting 76.4% 90.4% 83.3% 80.3%
    On-campus information sessions 70.9% 79.5% 64.1% 50.0%
    Outreach to student groups 52.7% 72.6% 41.4% 50.9%
    Cultivating key faculty 69.1% 74.0% 50.0% 38.9%
    Alumni referrals 61.8% 61.6% 38.2% 33.3%
    Online networking 43.6% 47.9% 8.3% 11.4%
    Recruitment advertising 41.8% 39.7% 39.1% 17.2%
    Open houses 32.7% 27.4% 33.3% 35.0%
    Advertising in campus newspapers 18.2% 8.2% 10.0% 33.3%
    Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers.
    In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “effective” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very effective” (4) or “extremely effective” (5) on a 5-point scale.