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  • Pandemic Prompted Significant Changes to Recruiting Methods, Not Schedules

    December 04, 2020 | By Kevin Gray

    Trends & Predictions
    An illustration of digital devices.

    TAGS: trends and predictions, surveys, spotlight, coronavirus

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Employers adjusting their college recruiting efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020-21 academic year were more likely to make changes to their recruiting methods than they were to their recruiting schedules, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 report

    When employers were asked if they would make changes to their Class of 2021 recruiting schedule, almost two-thirds of respondents stated that they would maintain their standard schedule. Furthermore, just 11.4% planned to move the bulk of their fall 2020 recruiting to winter/spring 2021. (See Figure 1.)

    However, in terms of the manner in which employers are recruiting during the 2020-21 academic year, more than half of respondents report that they will recruit virtually for the entire academic year. (See Figure 2.)

    Slightly more than 16% of respondents planned to recruit virtually in the fall and in person for spring 2021, with an additional 9.8% using a combination of virtual/in person for the fall, and in person for spring 2021.

    The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues to project the market for new college graduates for the current class and to assess a variety of conditions that may influence that market. Data for the Job Outlook 2021 survey were collected from July 27, 2020, through September 11, 2020. This year, NACE not only surveyed 931 of its employer members, but it also surveyed 2,368 nonmember employer organizations. A total of 227 surveys were returned; 158 were NACE members and the remaining 69 were nonmembers. The Job Outlook 2021 report is available in MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Changes to Class of 2021 recruiting schedules

    Recruiting Schedule Percent of Respondents
    We are maintaining our
    standard schedule
    65.3%
    We are uncertain and waiting
    to see how things develop
    15.8%
    We are moving the bulk of recruiting
    from fall 2020 to winter/spring 2021
    11.4%
    We are waiting to see if target
    schools return to on-campus activities
    4.5%
    Other 3.0%
    Source: Job Outlook 2021, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Plans for the 2020-21 recruiting season

    Recruiting Scenario Percent of Respondents
    Virtual recruiting for the
    2020-21 academic year
    54.2%
    Virtual for fall 2020, in-person for spring 2021 16.3%
    Hybrid (virtual/in-person) for fall 2020,
    in-person for spring 2021
    9.8%
    Planning initiated, but still to be decided 7.4%
    Other 5.9%
    Planning has not been initiated 5.4%
    In-person for the 2020-21 academic year 1.0%
    Source: Job Outlook 2021, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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