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  • Poll Shows Employers Plan to Grow Use of Virtual in College Recruiting Efforts

    BETHLEHEM, PA—While most employers shifted aspects of their college recruiting programs to virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, many plan to make virtual assignments and events a permanent part of their programs in the future, according to results of a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s August 2021 quick poll found that, this summer, half of employers offered a hybrid internship program—which blends virtual and in-person formats—and 32% were exclusively virtual.

    Perhaps more significant is the fact that many employers expect virtual or hybrid internships to be a common offering going forward: Half said virtual or hybrid internships will be a permanent feature of their internship programs.

    “These results show that employers see the utility of the virtual format for their overall internship programs,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director. “They are making this shift permanent, in large part, because they found their internship programs to be effective at accomplishing several critical objectives.”

    These critical objectives include:

    • Converting interns to full-time employees (68% said their internship program was very or extremely effective);
    • Branding the organization (79% said it was very or extremely effective); and
    • Completing meaningful work for the organization (90% said it was very or extremely effective).

    Employers are implementing virtual offerings in other areas, too. For example, for fall 2021, employers plan to host their own virtual recruiting events, such as Zoom sessions, virtual tours, and virtual career fairs.

    About NACE’s August 2021 Quick Poll: NACE polled employers and career services professionals on their plans for fall 2021 in light of the pandemic and greater opportunity to return to in-person interactions. The polls address plans for serving, engaging with, and recruiting college students for jobs and internships, but also capture what happened with employer internship programs held in summer 2021. The polls ran from July 27 through August 20, 2021; final results are available on NACEWeb.

    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 NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.