Final Results of NACE Quick Poll Shows Level of Response to Racial Injustice

September 21, 2020 | By NACE Staff

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TAGS: best practices, diversity and inclusion, nace insights, trends and predictions,

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In August, NACE launched quick polls to gauge how institutions, organizations, and individual career services and recruiting offices are responding to the need to address racial injustice. (Note: The polls also reflect strategies detailed in NACE’s commitment plan for supporting the Black community and fighting racial injustice.) The poll closed on September 8.

The strong majority of employers and colleges that responded to the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice expressed their stances against racial injustice, but many have yet to take action to combat it. Following are highlights from the poll:

Employer Results

  • Among employer respondents, 82% published statements about anti-racism.
  • 63% of the employers that made statements did so from the company overall, 18% issued statements jointly from the company overall and from its human resources department, and just 1% issued statements only from its human resources department.
  • Actions that responding organizations committed to taking included rooting out discrimination within the organization (73%), reviewing hiring policies and procedures (52%), and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (48%).
  • Human resource departments pledged to review their policies and procedures that address hiring (81%), personnel (58%), and internships (42%). Also, 65% committed to rooting out discrimination within the department.
  • While 81% made a commitment to review hiring policies, procedures, and practices, only 55% of the total organizations have begun those reviews.
  • Respondents have been much slower to begin reviews of policies, procedures, and practices addressing promotions (29%) and personnel (27%). While 20% indicated having plans to review these areas, but not having started yet, 21% have no plans in place to conduct these reviews yet.
  • 35% have instituted professional development on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with another 42% indicating they already had this programming in place.
  • 74% report that all staff participate in the DEI professional development; another 16% participate before working with candidates and career centers.  
  • Less than half (49%) of respondents said that their offices were allocated more funds/resources to recruit candidates who have historically been under-recruited.
  • Nearly all (98%) track and assess the number of candidates interviewed and/or hired by race/ethnicity, while 91% do so by gender identity, 82% by veteran status, and 71% by disability status.   
  • Organizations are changing the list of schools at which they recruit by including more historically Black colleges and universities (61%) and more Hispanic-serving institutions (34%).

College Results

  • 93% of the responding colleges published statements about anti-racism.
  • Among the colleges that made anti-racism statements, 69% did so from the institution, 23% issued statements from both the institution and the career center, and just 1% issued statements only from the career center.
  • Among college respondents, more than half of responding institutions have committed to rooting out discrimination within the institution (76%); supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) student groups (65%); and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (57%).
  • At the departmental level, career centers, too, will take these actions as 77% pledge to support the Black Lives Matter movement, 64% will support BIPOC student groups, and 49% have committed to rooting out discrimination in the career center.
  • Less than half of colleges and universities have pledged to review their policies, procedures, and practices around hiring (24%), promotions (16%), and personnel (16%).
  • Among these, 24% have begun the review of their hiring process, while just 16% of these respondents have begun review of their personnel or promotion processes. While 28% have plans to begin these reviews, a much higher percentage (40%) have no plans to conduct these reviews yet.
  • One-third of college respondents have instituted professional development on DEI, while slightly more (34%) noted that they already had these programs in place. 
  • Nearly all (91%) reported that all career center staff participate in this DEI training. Another 6% have staff participate before working with students and employers.
  • Just 8% of responding offices have been allocated more funds/resources to serve students who have historically been underserved.
  • Nearly one-third (32%) of career services offices track and assess the number of individuals using career center services by race/ethnicity. Other demographics they use are gender identity (26%), veteran status (22%), disability status (13%), and sexual orientation (7%).
  • Activities career centers commonly use to connect with students who have been historically underserved include collaboration with campus departments (81%), outreach to student groups (77%), presentations to student groups (73%), and partnerships with student groups (67).

Note: By the close of the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice, 139 employers and 361 colleges and universities had responded to the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice. The number of respondents vary by question as not all organizations and institutions responded to every question. Full final results from the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice are available online.