• User’s Guide to the Principles for Professional Practice


    Principles for Career Services Professionals


    1. Counseling without bias

    "Career services professionals, without imposing personal values or biases, will assist individuals in developing a career plan or making a career decision." 

    Intent 

    All students, regardless of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, and so forth will receive assistance that respects their right to pursue a future based on their aspirations.

    Rationale 

    Respect for the human right of autonomy, allowing students to function independently, serves as the foundation of this principle. Individuals whose autonomy is respected will be asked questions, provided with information, or directed to resources that they can evaluate and use in making career decisions. Career services professionals recognize that they are often regarded by students as experts, and thus their suggestions or comments may carry considerable influence. This places a responsibility on the career services professional to be aware of his/her values or biases and to make a concerted effort to keep them out of dialogue with the student.

    Scenario 

    A career services counselor working with a visually impaired student hints that he might not pursue a medical-related career because of the potential roadblocks and lower odds of being hired in positions.  The counselor suggests a career related to human services instead. Another career services counselor advises a middle-aged student that she should not pursue a graduate degree and ultimate faculty position because she has too few years to apply the degree in the field and that students want younger professors.

    Resolution 

    An approach would be to explore the challenges the career counselors sees in pursuing desired careers and examine what it would take for the student to meet those challenges. The career counselor could present potential roadblocks in a way that simply adds to the student’s information and not be meant to dissuade the student from a different course. The career counselor’s personal beliefs about careers and their relationship to student characteristics should not be used to influence the student. The career counselor’s role primarily is to share information and resources and not to impose personal values or biases on the student.

    2. Knowledge of the field and educational institution, possession of requisite skills

    "Career services professionals will know the career services field and the educational institution and students they represent, and will have appropriate counseling skills."  

    Intent  

    Career services professionals will deliver unbiased and professional service, in keeping with the educational mission of the institution and the purpose of the office in which they work.

    Rationale 

    Students assume that the career services office is staffed by individuals with the competence and knowledge just as patients expect this of doctors, clients of lawyers, and students of teachers. Career services professionals' obligation is formed by contract, standards expected by the institution by which they are employed, and agency, the obligation to work in the interest of the student, i.e., as his/her agent, and to do this requires that professionals possess the necessary knowledge and skills. 

    Career services professionals also are commanded by the notion of loyalty to their clients and institution. Loyalty denotes that they be able to render their services in a manner that meets institutional and student expectations. 

    Finally, career services professionals are expected by their employers to be able to provide information that facilitates successful recruiting, both in deciding upon which schools to recruit at and how to accomplish this in the most mutually successful manner possible. 

    Scenario 

    The career services director has been asked to use students and community members to provide direct career services to current students. Students would be members of campus advisory committees and assigned to work with career services. Donors and alumni members would be also placed in career services. The career services staff would be expected to provide some basic training, but the belief of those who are developing this plan is that much of the information needed is readily available on the web and through personal experience. The opportunity to network with campus and community leaders is valuable and thus the focus of the career services office. 

    Resolution  

    Although some career centers use students and community members to augment career services, those individuals still must have adequate training and support in order to counsel students in a productive manner. Resources such as the Internet, print materials, and personal experience may be helpful to students. The value of the career center is helping the student interpret and select resources most applicable to their unique situation. Counseling skills also are necessary to alleviate individuals’ personal concerns about careers and jobs. Continuity of staff is also important to maintain credibility with students. In addition, the individuals who would work in the office should have a minimum time commitment to allow for completion of initial training, participation in ongoing professional development, and contribution to the needs of the office and students.

    3. Providing students with a breadth of valid data about careers, and accurate institutional information to employing organizations

    "Career services professionals will provide students with information on a range of career opportunities and types of employing organizations. They will inform students of the means and resources to gain access to information that may influence their decisions about an employing organization. Career services professionals will also provide employing organizations with accurate information about the educational institution and its students, and about the recruitment policies of the career services office."  

    Intent  

    Students will be empowered to explore and evaluate the fullest range of career and employment options possible. Employers will be able make the most informed judgment possible about their recruiting options.

    Rationale 

    Career services professionals must make every effort to avoid interfering with the student’s right to make an independent decision on career direction and employment options by imposing personal judgments. The career services professional’s opinion should not come in the form of steering a student toward certain career areas or employing organizations. In keeping with the fundamental precepts of the Principles for Professional Practice, most notably "support[ing] informed and responsible decision making by candidates," the career services professional is expected to pave the way for students to make their own choices for their future. 

    Employers, too, must be treated by career centers in a way that allows them to make the most valid decisions about the process of recruiting students. While the career center’s institutional responsibility is to attract the interest of employers, the career center has the obligation to be truthful to employers about the quality of programs, student strengths and institutional success. Enticing employers to recruit at the college with misleading information not only does employers a disservice, but also it speaks poorly for the college and ultimately harms the students, providing a poor image that may discourage employers from considering their applications. 

    Respect for the human right of autonomy, i.e., respecting an individual's right to function independent of the control of others, serves as the foundation of this principle. All students will be given access to information or directed to sources of information that he/she can evaluate and use in making a career decision. This places a responsibility on the career services professional to be aware of his/her values or biases and to make a concerted effort to keep them out of dialogue with the student. From an educational standpoint, it is the career service professional’s obligation to teach students how to be effective decision-makers, which places the ultimate responsibility of career decisions in the hands of the students.

    Scenario  

    A new biotechnology company has opened in the region. Although the local college does not offer science-related courses, the career center staff have approached the company to talk about their students and their coursework related to biotechnology. The career services staff tells the company that the college offers majors related to biotechnology and encourages the company to attend its upcoming career fair.  

    After the visit, career counselors are encouraged by college administrators to mention this new company to every student who visits the career center. The staff hands out a brochure and a t-shirt from the company to each student.

    Resolution  

    Career centers logically want to promote their institutions to new and emerging employers. However, before promoting a new major, staff should be aware of the specifics of the curriculum and the salient points of the academic program. In forming collaborative relationships with career centers, some employers may provide a marketing piece for distribution. Career center staff should not feel obligated to mention any particular employer or distribute employer material. When appropriate to the career interests of a student, the career center should share information and resources for further exploration.

    4. Providing comparable services to employers 

    "Career services professionals will provide comparable services to all employers, regardless of whether the employers contribute services, gifts, or financial support to the educational institution or office and regardless of the level of such support."  

    Intent 

    Students will have access to employers of all types. 

    Rationale  

    The basis of this principle is fairness. The career services professional allows all bona fide employers to compete for students on an equal basis. Employers with greater resources can conduct recruiting activities in a more extensive fashion; however, success in attracting candidates or in advancing the organization's name should be the result of the quality of the recruiting effort, not from special favors granted by the career center. 

    Scenario  

    An employer sends a letter to a career services professional indicating that for every referred student who is hired and works a certain number of hours, the career center will receive a bonus. 

    Resolution 

    Many employers provide contributions to schools—some directly to career centers, others to specific academic departments. Most employers do not tell career services practitioners that the level of the contribution will depend on the length of time the new hires remain with the employer. While accepting a placement fee does not mean that the employer will receive special treatment, it raises the appearance of that possibility, i.e., it presents a potential for a conflict of interest. Look at the scenario from the standpoint of other employers: Is one company getting more or better candidates than my company because my company won’t pay a referral fee? 

    One of the career services professional's fundamental obligations is to "maintain an open and free selection of employment opportunities...where job candidates can choose optimum long-term uses of their talents that are consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts." Students regard a career center as a student service, i.e., it is operating with the student's best interests in mind. Students who are referred to the organization in the scenario may question whether they have been sold out to the highest bidder. They may ask whether they were referred because the company and the job was a good fit or simply because the career center wanted the bonus. 

    The Principles Committee recommends that, when offered a fee for special services, the career services director inform the organization, in writing, that based on the Principles document, accepting fees for individual placements places center staff in a situation where there is the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. The director can emphasize that the career center will continue to work with the company to make successful referrals, and can thank the employer for contributions to the school as evidence of the organization’s overall support of the college.

    5. Establishing guidelines for access to services by employers 

    "Career services professionals will establish reasonable and fair guidelines for access to services by employers. When guidelines permit access to organizations recruiting on behalf of an employer and to international employers, the following principles will apply: 

    a) Organizations providing recruiting services for a fee may be asked to inform career services of the specific employer they represent and the specific jobs for which they are recruiting. When deemed necessary, career services can request contact information to verify the organization is recruiting for a bona fide job opportunity. Career services must respect the confidentiality of this information and may not publish it in any manner. Third-party recruiters that charge fees to students will not be permitted access to career services; 

     b) Employers recruiting for work outside of the United States are expected to adhere to the equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy and U.S. labor law policies of the career services office. They will advise the career services office and the students of the realities of working in that country and of any cultural and foreign law differences."  

    Intent 

    This principle upholds the three basic precepts of the Principles document, namely: 

    1) to maintain an open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought;  

    2) to maintain a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations; and  

    3) to support informed and responsible decision making by candidates. 

    Rationale 

    This principle is driven primarily by the need to balance the right of students to gain access to the broadest range of opportunities possible with the obligation to ensure that employers with special methods or needs respect appropriate recruiting practice.  

    Part (a) sets forth the fundamental understanding/expectation that a career services office make it clear to third-party recruiters that it has, on behalf of its students, an obligation to request information that will verify that the positions and organizations being recruited for are legitimate for the school. The concern about fees emanates from concern that some students may be precluded from exploring certain career opportunities due to inadequate financial resources. 

    Part (b) acknowledges that cultural and legal expectations in other countries may impose certain restrictions or expectations on employers seeking to fill overseas positions that would be considered discriminatory or objectionable in the United States. In adhering to this principle, the career services office is expected to look out for the well-being of students by reinforcing the expectation that employers honor job discrimination protections. Simultaneously, the career services office expects to ensure that students understand the culture-based circumstances that may influence recruitment practice and subsequent working conditions. In short, this reflects the importance of establishing conditions through which students can make informed decisions about their career and employment options. 

    Scenario 

    An alumna complains that a third-party recruiter who interviewed in your office refuses to consider her application for employment in Saudi Arabia.

    Resolution  

    As a general rule, a career services office has an obligation to make a good faith attempt to ensure that the third-party recruiters—as well as employers—recruiting on campus are in compliance with the law. This means that if a career services office is advised of a questionable practice, a professional from the office should discuss the practice with the recruiter. During the discussion, the career service staff member could remind the recruiter of the school’s policy and commitment to legal and ethical practices. If the questionable practice continues, then the school could consider actions it deems appropriate regarding the employer or the recruiters. 

    However in the scenario above, the career services office is faced with a dilemma of a conflict between U.S. law, international law, and culture. Moreover, this conflict is resolved in different ways depending upon whether it is a U.S.-incorporated company with operations outside of the United States, or a foreign-based company hiring for its operations outside of the United States, or whether there is a treaty that supersedes both. Generally, a U.S.-based employer must comply with EEO law in its operations outside of the United States unless to do so would cause that employer to violate a foreign law. Foreign-based employers are generally not required to comply with EEO law when hiring for operations outside of the United States. 

    The scenario is intentionally unclear on this; because in most cases, the career services office will not have sufficient information to know which laws are applicable. Nor are career service professionals expected to advise employers or students on the intricacy of what happens when foreign law and U.S. law conflict.  

    Rather, this principle provides an "out" for an employer that is recruiting and hiring for positions outside of the United States. Writing the principle in this manner balances the employer’s continued obligations under EEO law with the reality that in many foreign countries, culture, tradition, and law may make absolute compliance impossible.  

    Thus, from an ethical perspective, career services is expected to have the employer explain the realities of working in a certain country to students and the cultural and legal differences that may impact his/her hiring decision. Career services can make the determination as to whether compliance with its internal EEO policy would be necessary based upon discussion with the employer on the reasons for the particular practice.  

    In the particular scenario, if the career services professional has contact with a certain third-party recruiter before interviewing takes place on campus, he or she would advise the recruiter to discuss these issues with all candidates. If the recruiter does not, then career services determines what action to take. If the career services office does not advise the recruiter before the interview takes place, career services should contact the recruiter and ask the recruiter to explain the situation to the alumna who is complaining. Career services should not take responsibility for an employer’s actions. Rather, career services should encourage communication between the employer and student.

    6. Compliance with EEO and AA principles 

    "Career services professionals will maintain EEO compliance and follow affirmative action principles in career services activities in a manner that includes the following: 

    a) Referring all interested students for employment opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, or disability, and providing reasonable accommodations upon request; 

    b) Notifying employing organizations of any selection procedures that appear to have an adverse impact based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, or disability; 

    c) Assisting recruiters in accessing certain groups on campus to provide a more inclusive applicant pool; 

    d) Informing all students about employment opportunities, with particular emphasis on those employment opportunities in occupational areas where certain groups of students are underrepresented; 

    e) Developing awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural differences and the diversity of students, and providing responsive services; 

    f) Responding to complaints of EEO noncompliance, working to resolve such complaints with the recruiter or employing organization, and, if necessary, referring such complaints to the appropriate campus department.  

    Intent 

    The recruitment of students from colleges will be carried out in a manner mirroring the standards of justice in the American employment system. 

    Rationale 

    Inherent in this entire principle is the notion that employment justice, as currently defined and implemented by the American court system, adheres to the notion that: 

    1) hiring must be done in a nondiscriminatory manner (EEO), and 

    2) American society has the moral obligation to remedy the effects of past employment discrimination, known as compensatory justice. 

    While there is much debate about the merits of affirmative action, its moral foundation is a basic tenet of this association. 

    The challenge to career services offices is posed by the apparent contradiction between the messages of this principle and the notion of providing equal services to all students. Sections (c) and (d) of this principle are at the core of this dilemma. Section (c) directs or at least legitimizes that career services professionals reach out to underrepresented  group members, though the purpose is to broaden the pool of applicants. That implies that the pool needs broadening. This is comparable to stating "Women and minorities are encouraged to apply" in a job listing. The concern may be, will nonminority students take this to mean they should not bother to apply? And if so, what can the career services office do to make sure that all students know that their applications are welcomed? At the same time, would a nonminority student be justified in claiming that by aiding employers in accessing minority students, the career services professional is not providing equal treatment? 

    In short, adhering to section (c) does not automatically mean unfair treatment for nonminority students. The key is in how the career services office works with the employer. Minority-only recruiting schedules would not be an acceptable response. Notifying only minority students about a company’s visit would likewise be inappropriate. On the other hand, directing the employer to the campus’s minority student adviser in an effort to "spread the word" would certainly be an acceptable step. Career services offices also make this sort of effort with certain traditionally "underserved" student groups. 

    Section (d) expresses the duality of this principle but also offers an acceptable, even laudable rationale. It begins by reaffirming the underlying value system of the profession, i.e., full and equal opportunity for all students. It implies that notifying only certain groups of people about certain jobs or organizations is not the intention of this principle. At the same time, it reminds us that access to certain fields has been traditionally limited or blocked, either intentionally or through the belief that these fields were "off limits." This section promotes the idea that employer affirmative action programs can be assisted if career services professionals alert individuals to the opportunities that they may have not been considered in the past.  

    Scenario 

    An employer concerned about meeting the company’s work force needs asks the career services office to supply a list of junior and senior African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and Native American students and students with disabilities. The employer will invite these students to a special dinner at which time the company will present information about the organization and available jobs. 

    Resolution  

    The informational dinner is appropriate in helping the organization meet affirmative action goals by accessing underrepresented populations to create a more inclusive pool of candidates. However, the career services office has a duty to refer all students for employment opportunities without regard to race or disability status. The career services office should refer to the multicultural office or other appropriate offices that may promote this to the student organizations with whom they work. If other interested students would like to attend, they should be allowed equal access to the event.

    7. Disclosure of student information 

    "Any disclosure of student information outside of the educational institution will be with prior consent of the student unless health and/or safety considerations necessitate the dissemination of such information. Career services professionals will exercise sound judgment and fairness in maintaining the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including written records, reports, and computer data bases."  

    Intent 

    Student privacy will be protected. 

    Rationale 

    Privacy must be protected. We are protecting students from the embarrassment and sense of personal violation that often accompany having had their confidentiality breached. 

    Because staff and faculty have access to student records, there can be a subtle sense that confidentiality is less important than the "need to know," so as to advise and support students. Thus a faculty member, trying to be helpful, might feel it is acceptable to share personal information about students with employers. But while the motive may be pure, the student’s right to privacy must be the first priority. 

    Scenario 

    At the end of a day, the career services recruiting coordinator meets with a company’s recruiters to debrief them about their interviewing experience. The interviewers note that a student did not appear to have the necessary grades to be invited for an on-site interview. The recruiting coordinator knows that the student has been a single parent and that this has accounted for her lack of extracurricular activity and her grades. Apparently she has not shared this information with the recruiter. The recruiting coordinator wishes to protect the student’s privacy but thinks that the recruiters would feel differently about her if they had the entire picture. 

    Resolution 

    Despite the recruiting coordinator’s good intentions, it would not be appropriate to reveal this information without the permission of the student. The recruiting coordinator could contact the student and ask if she would like to discuss her interviewing and job-search progress. The recruiting coordinator could ask the student how she explains her grades to employers. It is the student’s choice whether or not to mention her parental responsibilities. Minimally, she may need to deal with the issue of her grades negatively affecting her candidacy.

    8. Testing 

    "Only qualified personnel will evaluate or interpret assessments of a career exploration nature. Students will be informed of the availability of assessments, the purpose of such assessments, and the disclosure policies regarding assessment results."  

    Intent 

    Students should receive only valid information with which to make decisions about career and employment choices. Correct information about instrumentation should enable them to make an informed decision as to whether or not to undergo assessment and what meaning it might have for them. 

    Rationale 

    Respect for the human right of autonomy, i.e., being able to function independent of the control of others, serves as the foundation of this principle. Individuals whose autonomy is respected will be provided with information or directed to sources of information that he/she can evaluate and use in making a career decision. The choice to take a career interest inventory should be based on correct information about the purpose, meaning, and potential value of the assessment to the student. Only a trained, knowledgeable professional is in the position to work through that decision with the student. 

    Second, career services professionals recognize that they are often regarded by students as experts, and thus their suggestions or comments, as well as the printed results of a career assessment, may carry considerable influence. This places a responsibility on the career services professional to be qualified to work with the student to understand the meaning, especially the limitations, of the assessment results. 

    Scenario  

    As part of a freshman orientation class, students will be required to take a variety of career assessment inventories. The instructor, a first-year graduate assistant, and undergraduate teaching assistant will summarize results and provide recommended undergraduate majors and career suggestions. Individuals will work in small groups and share their results with each other culminating in a presentation of career areas.   

    Resolution  

    Although freshman classes may benefit from career assessment instruments, students in the class should be informed about the available instruments and why they are recommended. Only trained individuals should interpret assessments. Perhaps someone from the career services office could give a general overview to the class and then have students schedule an individual interpretation. Students should not be required to share their personal results with other members of the class. Again, a general overview or summary of class results may be appropriate to demonstrate the variety of possible majors and career paths.  

    9. Charging fees to students and employers 

    "If the charging of fees for career services becomes necessary, such fees will be appropriate to the budgetary needs of the office and will not hinder student or employer access to services. Career services professionals are encouraged to counsel student and university organizations engaged in recruitment activities to follow this principle." 

    Intent 

    Career services and other campus offices, including student organizations, should not assess fees or develop fee policies that result in limiting students from using services or having access to all employers. 

    Rationale 

    While outside fees are essential for many career centers, this need must be balanced with the primary obligation of equal and full access for all students. Even if charges are acceptable within the framework of the institutional fee structure and philosophy, charging amounts well beyond the cost of the service or event  raises questions of honesty and fairness. Moreover, some students or organizations may not be able to or wish to pay these fees, thus depriving students of direct access to potential employers or opportunities. 

    Scenario  

    In order to meet budget priorities at North University, the career services office has established a fee structure to generate operational and staffing funds. Proposed costs include:  

    • On-campus interviewing - $125/day/room for employers. $5/schedule for students.
    •  
    • Student resume book - $250/one month access for employers. $10/book for student inclusion.
    •  
    • Placement of logo and link on career center web page - $2,500/year.
    •  
    • Career fair - $2,500/table for employers with additional $500 per partnership levels to gain priority placement. Students pay $10/per fair.
    •  
    • Partner Program - $25,000, $10,000, or $5,000 per year per employer. Partner status provides lunch with dean and key faculty, tickets to basketball and football games, golf course passes, and invitation to student leader luncheon.
    •  
    • Student Selection Program - $500 per year per student. Student is invited to employer reception, featured in resume books, and given first access to on-campus recruiting schedules.
    •  

    Resolution 

    Although career centers are increasingly asked to generate revenue for operational expenses, the proposed fee structure would limit access for students and employers. This “pay to play” setup alienates students or employers who may not be able to or wish not to pay these fees. The fee structure may exceed actual costs and, in some cases, create an exclusive relationship. Career centers should not facilitate the “buying” or “selling” of students, but rather help employers and students connect with each other. Students need to be able to explore a wide range of opportunities and employers should have access to all qualified students. 

    10. Advising students of their obligations in the recruiting process 

    "Career services professionals will advise students about their obligations in the recruitment process and establish mechanisms to encourage their compliance. Students' obligations include providing truthful and accurate information; adhering to schedules; accepting an offer of employment in good faith; notifying employers on a timely basis of an acceptance or nonacceptance and withdrawing from the recruiting process after accepting an offer of employment; interviewing only with employers for whom they are interested in working and whose qualification requirements they meet; and requesting reimbursement of only reasonable and legitimate expenses incurred in the recruitment process." 

    Intent 

    Students should act according to the same principles of honesty and fair play to which employers and career services professionals are held. Career services professionals are expected to educate students about this responsibility and enforce it when necessary. 

    Rationale 

    Career services professionals have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the recruiting process is fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations. Student obligations and ethical behavior in the recruiting process are important to members of our profession. However, the Principles document cannot establish direct standards that can be monitored or enforced by NACE, as students are not members of the organization, nor are they a party in the Principles document. Rather, student behavior is best monitored by the institution. The career services professional must instruct students in their obligations and develop mechanisms within the institution for encouraging compliance. The career services professional can develop compliance mechanisms including instruction, reward, and/or punitive measures. 

    Scenario A: The career services office becomes aware that a student has been signing up for interviews and then not showing up for the interview. Career services feels restricted in how to proceed because the student is the son of the dean of students. 

    Resolution A: Most interview schedules are limited in number, and a time slot has been reserved by this student. By not showing up for the interview, the student prevents another student from interviewing, keeps the employer from seeing other interested candidates, and wastes a significant amount of the employer’s time. Moreover, this activity could seriously jeopardize a school’s relationship with an employer. The career services office must consult with the student and, if need be, his parent, the dean, regarding the impact that this behavior has on the process and the reputation of the school. If the conduct of the student is affecting other students improperly, and neither the student nor the dean is willing to change the behavior, then career services may have to raise this issue with another level of the school hierarchy. 

    All students should be advised that if an unforeseeable event prevents him/her from appearing for an interview, the student should notify the career center or the employer at the earliest possible moment. Appropriate counseling by the career center staff should impress upon the student the importance of keeping his/her interview appointments. A career services office that has a student who habitually fails to keep interview appointments could restrict the student from further participation in the on-campus recruiting process. All career services centers should develop and post a strictly enforced policy regarding students' obligations in the recruiting process. 

    Scenario B: A student reneges on a job offer or continues signing up for interviews after accepting a job offer. 

    Resolution B: Once the student has accepted employment, the student must live with that commitment and withdraw from the recruiting process. The student should notify career services and all other employers with whom he/she is a potential candidate for employment that he/she has accepted an offer for employment. This enables the employer to then consider alternative candidates for positions with the organization and eliminates the possibility of the employer being left with positions to fill and no remaining viable candidates for consideration. 

    While an offer of employment should be given with the full intention of being honored, it is very possible that an employer may give several offers of employment based on certain criteria and later find that he/she must withdraw the offers (e.g., due to downsizing, non-awarded contracts, etc.). A student may have several offers and continue interviewing until an employment offer is accepted. 

    "Acceptance" is the key word in this scenario. The responsibility of career services in this scenario is to revoke the student’s recruiting privileges once the student has accepted employment. Employers are responsible for letting students know when they are no longer being considered as viable candidates for employment. A student who wants to begin recruiting again must immediately notify the employer, and withdraw his/her acceptance.

    11. Advising international students 

    "Career services professionals will provide services to international students consistent with U.S. immigration laws; inform those students about these laws; represent the reality of the available job market in the United States; encourage pursuit of only those employment opportunities in the United States that meet the individual's work authorization; and encourage pursuit of eligible international employment opportunities." 

    Intent 

    International students should receive employment-related services that maximize their opportunities within the framework established by employment and immigration statutes. 

    Rationale 

    International students are accepted for study in the United States with the understanding that they are to return to their home country for employment or other pursuits upon completion of their studies. Some international students can receive permission to accept paid employment for a limited amount of time, either during or after their education. This limited experience may be called academic training, curricular practical training, or optional practical training and is designed to provide work experiences to complement the educational experience. After the limited time period ends, international students who wish to continue to work in the United States may then petition his/her employer to request a new visa status that will allow continued employment. 

    While the career services professional has a professional obligation to assist international students with their career development, including participation in experiential opportunities that complement and enhance their classroom education, there is a parallel responsibility not to encourage or enable students to circumvent regulations. That includes making certain that international student pursues positions that are related to the student’s field of study.

    Scenario  

    For the past year, Yoki, an international student, has worked for the career services office as a student worker. Staff have enjoyed working with Yoki and want to help her with her job search. At the career fair, several staff approach employers with Yoki’s resume and mention how helpful she has been. The campus recruiting coordinator allows Yoki to sign up for an on-campus interview with an employer who requests only U.S. citizens. The coordinator knows that this employer has hired international students in the past and plans to promote Yoki when the recruiter comes for interviews. 

    Resolution  

    Resumes should be distributed by the job seeker, so Yoki should approach employers of interest at the job fair. Career services staff have direct knowledge of Yoki’s skills and may be able to “put in a good word” at the career fair. This assumes that they would do the same for their other student workers and are not limiting access to employers by other qualified students. The campus interview coordinator disregarded the employer preferences and acted inappropriately. The coordinator could contact the employer and clarify if the employer truly was only able to interview U.S. citizens, explaining that there may be some qualified international students the organization may wish to consider.  The employer may choose to modify the schedule to allow international students to apply. If the employer does not do so, Yoki should not be allowed to interview. When the recruiter comes to campus, the campus interview coordinator, after getting permission from Yoki, may be able to provide a copy of Yoki’s resume referring to the prior conversation about qualified international students. 

    12. Promoting acceptance of NACE’s ethical principles within the college 

    "Career services professionals will promote and encourage acceptance of these principles throughout their educational institutions, particularly with faculty and staff who work directly with employers, and will respond to reports of noncompliance."  

    Intent 

    The right of employers to a fair process that rewards their principled recruitment practices will be protected. 

    Rationale 

    While a number of principles have been adopted that are specifically identified for career services professionals, the behavior outlined in these principles must be observed by all campus offices and employees in order to ensure recruitment processes that are fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations. All areas of the campus should basically be expected to "play by the same rules." Yet these other campus parties, most notably students and faculty, are generally not members of NACE. Thus it falls upon the career services professional to serve as an educator and advocate for these standards on his/her campus. This can bring him/her into conflict with campus members, primarily faculty and institutional advancement professionals, who would employ methods that violate these principles. It is a special challenge to convey the importance of these principles so that student and employer rights to a fair and equitable process are honored. 

    Scenario 

    An employer does not contact the career services office, but instead, calls a faculty member whom the employer knows through an existing research contract. The employer explains that only one vacancy exists, and he would be very grateful if the faculty member would recommend the department’s top three students for consideration. The employer does not have time to recruit on campus and also does not want to receive numerous resumes that would consume valuable office time. 

    Resolution 

    It is not uncommon for employers to contact a faculty member to request names of students as potential job candidates. While it may seem harmless to provide names, there are some potential legal and ethical pitfalls. By referring students for employment on a regular basis, the faculty member could be considered an "employment agency" for purposes of compliance with equal employment opportunity law. If the faculty member is, innocently or otherwise, referring male students only, or not referring minority students, the faculty member is open to charges of discrimination. When the faculty member refers only three candidates, and does not publicize the position to all who may be qualified, the doctrine of fairness is violated. The best course of action would be to contact the career services office so that the position can be listed for all who qualify. The faculty member could also post the position within the academic department and announce it in his/her classes.

     

    Principles for Employer Professionals

    1. Refraining from improper influence

    “Employment professionals will refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects job acceptances. Such practices may include undue time pressure for acceptance of employment offers and encouragement of revocation of another employment offer. Employment professionals will strive to communicate decisions to candidates within the agreed-upon time frame.” 

    Intent 

    Students should be afforded the opportunity to make employment decisions that are based on a rational evaluation of their needs and preferences.

    Rationale 

    This principle calls on two of the three fundamental Principles precepts, namely an “open and free selection of employment opportunities” and “informed and responsible decision making by candidates.” It reflects a core value of the career services profession, noted in the Principles introduction as “helping students choose and attain personally rewarding careers.” While Principle One cautions against unduly influencing students by “imposing personal values or biases,” this employment principle takes a similar stance by proscribing actions that will interfere with a student’s right to conduct a free and clear appraisal of his or her needs while considering an offer. 

    Beneath this all is the respect for the human right of autonomy, i.e., being able to function independently of the control of others. Individuals whose autonomy is being respected by an employment professional will be provided with valid and complete information about the organization and position, and will be given a reasonable amount of time to make a decision about an offer. On-the-spot offers requiring quick decisions, signing bonuses that will be revoked quickly if the offer is not accepted within the tight timeline, and arbitrarily long delays in letting the student know about the outcome of an interview violate the spirit of this principle. 

    Scenario 

    An organization employing interns makes an offer to an exceptional rising senior at the end of the summer. The offer is for a full-time position effective immediately following graduation. As the organization is desperate for students with this background, a generous signing bonus is included. However, the employer stipulates that the student must give an answer before the end of September, at which time the bonus and offer will be withdrawn. 

    Resolution 

    This sort of offer violates the Principles. The employer’s need and urgency are understandable. For the student, the appeal of not having to worry about job searching is considerable. However, this offer places unreasonable pressure on the student to relinquish the right to explore a full range of opportunities provided through the school’s recruiting program. And, from a practical standpoint, organizations that engage in this practice run the risk of bringing in employees who soon discover that their decisions were not sufficiently thought-out and that they could be much happier elsewhere. In this instance all parties lose.

    2. Professional knowledge (knowledge of the field, industry, and organization, possession of requisite skills)

    "Employment professionals will have knowledge of the recruitment and career development field as well as the industry and the employing organization that they represent, and work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing, and selection techniques."  

    Intent 

    Employment professionals will provide a selection process that makes for rational decision making about employment offers.

    Rationale 

    There is an assumption among students that the employment professionals recruiting at their school are using a process that produces appropriate hiring decisions: competently administered recruitment process that contributes to valid decisions by candidates about employment offers. This is in keeping with the fundamental precepts of the Principles document, namely:  

    1) a selection process where candidates can make choices that are "consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts;"  

    2) "a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates;" and  

    3) "informed and responsible decision-making by candidates." 

    Career services and employers form a partnership that is intended to benefit all parties involved in this process. This demands that employers be able to function within accepted professional standards and represent their organizations accurately to the career services office. 

    Finally, employment professionals are relied on to attract and hire the best candidates possible for their organizations. Not only does this require basic competence, there is also the need to attract candidates whose reasons for choosing the organization match with the reality of that organization. Otherwise, turnover and the costs associated with these errors will result.

    3. Provision of accurate information, responsibility for commitments made, and ethical treatment when commitments must be changed.

    “Employment professionals will provide accurate information on their organization and employment opportunities. Employing organizations are responsible for information supplied and commitments made by their representatives. If conditions change and require the employing organization to revoke its commitment, the employing organization will pursue a course of action for the affected candidate that is fair and equitable. 

    Intent 

    Employers will provide accurate information about their organizations, allowing candidates to make valid choices about employment offers. Employers will treat candidates fairly when the employing organization’s offers must be withdrawn.

    Rationale 

    Candidates are entitled to accurate information with which to make a reasonable decision about an employment offer. The repercussions of a poorly made choice make it imperative that the employer provide information that allows the candidate to choose based on a rational and complete analysis of how this opportunity relates to the candidate’s self-appraised needs and goals. Likewise, a choice made on inaccurate or incomplete information can harm the employer in the form of turnover and extra recruitment costs. 

    Beneath this all is the acknowledgement of the human right of autonomy, i.e., being able to function independently of the control of others and to use one’s reason to make choices about one’s life. Individuals whose autonomy being respected will be given information that will allow for autonomous functioning. In the words of the third of the Principles document’s three basic principles, by providing complete and accurate information about their organization, employers support "informed and responsible decision making by candidates." The term "responsible" is significant. It means that the candidate is free to make independent choices for which he/she must be accountable. 

    The second part of this principle pertains to fairness, honesty, and fidelity. Under this principle, employers are expected to make offers for openings in good faith, i.e., those that, based on their best professional estimate, will be there for candidates when they are graduated and ready to begin employment. Put simply, the employer is expected to keep its promise.  

    This principle also acknowledges that conditions may change in such a way that the employer must withdraw some offers of employment. It is only fair to the employer that the employer have the option of taking this step. At the same time, given the possible cost to the candidate who is losing this offer, it is only right that the employer compensate the candidate, who may have turned down other offers, by taking reasonable steps to assist him/her in finding another position.

    Scenario 

    In the fall, an organization expects to hire 75 entry-level engineers nationwide and recruits accordingly. By February, it has extended offers and positions have been accepted. Students who accepted these positions have honored their obligation by withdrawing from their respective on-campus recruiting programs and notified other organizations from which they received offers. In April, the organization’s recruiters are notified that some major federal contracts have not been granted to the organization and many of these new hires will not be needed.

    Resolution 

    Whether the organization’s estimated hiring needs were based on a realistic appraisal of the likelihood of securing the federal contracts is uncertain. Certainly the organization had the obligation to make a realistic appraisal of these projected hiring needs. To recruit students and make offers for positions to work on contracts that are uncertain is dishonest and manipulative. 

    If the recruiting practices were based on a good intentions and the need to cut hires was unforeseeable, the organization still has the obligation to make a good faith effort to help the students recover from their loss. This can include looking for other positions within the organization, assisting the students in finding positions elsewhere, or engaging the assistance of a outside firm to help the students obtain comparable employment.

    4. Seeking special treatment 

    “Neither employment professionals nor their organizations will expect, or seek to extract, special favors or treatment which would influence the recruitment process as a result of support, or the level of support, to the educational institution or career services office in the form of contributed services, gifts, or other financial support.  

    Intent 

    Students will have access to employers of all types.

    Rationale 

    Organizations contributing to a career services office or its college is not inherently inappropriate. A contribution can be a means of bringing attention to the organization, as well as an investment in the institution from which candidates are hired. The problem, at least from the standpoint of the Principles document, emerges when a recruiting organization seeks treatment that in some way threatens the intended fairness of the recruitment process for students and other employers with whom the college collaborates. When contributions are intended or have the effect of crowding out other, less affluent employers, then students may in effect be denied ready access to the full range of opportunities they would like to consider and are entitled to have. 

    It should also be noted that employers who contribute to a career services office and then demand or even request special treatment may be subjecting career services professionals to charges of having a conflict of interest. A career services office that decides to provide special visibility to a contributor deserves to be accused of placing financial issues ahead of the obligation to provide full and equal treatment for students. While one could argue that these funds make it possible for the career services office to provide better service for all students, one must recognize that a small number of students—usually the “best and brightest” and those in areas of high demand—are the ones being targeted by the contributors and the ones whose needs will be receiving the most attention. 

    Scenario 

    An employer—an alumnus of the college—has made several sizeable contributions to the career services office and the computer science department. His company’s college relations coordinator has been slow to respond to an invitation to take part in an upcoming job fair. Late respondents are being placed in rooms that are not immediately adjacent to the main floor. The alumnus calls the career services director and asks if his company’s representative can be placed in a more favorable location. This would mean exchanging places with another organization that has registered on time. The alumnus mentions his contributions and implies that these may dry up if the request is not honored. 

    Resolution 

    The career services director certainly does not want to cause the alumnus to reduce future contributions, which benefit many students. In addition, the loss of contributions to the computer science department would not only harm that department and its students, it would jeopardize the career services director’s personal standing in the college and the impression of the office. On the other hand, the director is obligated to treat all employers fairly and make good on the office’s commitments. 

    Assuming the alumnus is a reasonable individual, there should be room to implement a solution. Elements of this solution might include working with the college relations coordinator to use extra publicity efforts to inform students about the company’s presence and location at the job fair. Perhaps the computer science department would like to hold an information session/reception for the company the night before the job fair. A communique to the adviser of the student computer science organization, as well as its officers, could bring sufficient attention to the company’s upcoming visit (and location) that the supposed disadvantage of its table location would be negated and much positive awareness would be raised. 

    The career services director would also be advised to contact the alumni office director and computer science department chair to apprise them of this situation and the intended response.

    5. Use of alcohol in the recruitment process

    "Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process on or off campus. This includes receptions, dinners, company tours, etc."  

    Intent 

    Students should be recruited in a manner that focuses solely on their qualifications for the recruiting organization’s position and in which no elements are injected that may unfairly harm the student’s comfort or candidacy.

    Rationale 

    The fundamental concern is that the use of alcohol in the recruitment process may be uncomfortable to some students and may harm their job-search efforts. Some students worry that if they are offered an alcoholic beverage, they’re being tested in some way. They wonder if they should accept the offer, what they should order, and whether their behavior will affect the way prospective employers view them. This violates the spirit of one of the Principles’ basic precepts, namely that members "maintain a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates..." 

    There is considerable concern on colleges campuses about the harm that drinking creates for students and the educational environment. Linking alcohol use with recruiting makes a subtle point that alcohol consumption is an acceptable business process. In NACE’s view, this does not send a favorable message to students about the appropriate use of alcohol. 

    Also noted is the contradiction in serving alcohol to job candidates and then requiring them to take a drug and alcohol test to be hired. A company’s policy on alcohol use among employees should be reflected in its recruiting policy. If a company discourages alcohol use among employees, the company shouldn’t offer it to prospective employees.

    Scenario 

    The college relations manager schedules a social hour off campus for candidates who have made it through the first round of interviews. To emphasize the company’s interest in these students, the vice president for human resources and the vice president for research and development decide to attend. They inform the college relations manager that wine and beer should be served at this event, as students expect this treatment and will be impressed. Moreover, the vice presidents and the students know that the company’s competitors provide alcoholic beverages at their recruitment receptions.

    Resolution 

    Clearly, the college relations manager is in a difficult situation. The Principles document makes it clear that serving alcoholic beverages should not be part of the recruitment process. At the same time, the pressure and danger to the manager’s position are real. 

    The recommended approach is to make all efforts to educate the two vice presidents about the realities of this situation. Not all students expect or want alcoholic beverages at a recruiting event. Some, possibly the best candidates, may be uncomfortable with this situation and turned off by the implication that drinking is expected or acceptable at a business function. While some organizations still make alcohol a part of the recruiting function, many recognize that this contradicts the philosophy that underlies their substance abuse stance. Third, given the concern that colleges have with student alcohol abuse, making alcoholic beverages a part of recruitment might adversely affect relationships with the institutions from which the company is recruiting. 

    The manager might also advise the vice presidents to speak with the company’s legal affairs department regarding the practice. Ultimately, if the vice presidents refuse to follow the college relations manager’s counsel, the manager should make every effort to make alternative beverages available and let students know that they are not obliged to drink any alcoholic beverages.

    6. Compliance with EEO and AA principles

    "Employment professionals will maintain equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruiting activities in a manner that includes the following:"  

    1. Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, and providing reasonable accommodations upon request; 
    2. Reviewing selection criteria for adverse impact based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; 
    3. Avoiding use of questions that are considered unacceptable by EEO standards during the recruiting process; 
    4. Developing a sensitivity to, and awareness of, cultural differences and the diversity of the work force; 
    5. Informing campus constituencies of special activities that have been developed to achieve the employer's affirmative action goals; 
    6. Investigating complaints forwarded by the career services office regarding EEO noncompliance and seeking resolution of such complaints.  

    Intent 

    The recruitment of students from colleges will be carried out in a manner mirroring the standards of justice in the United States.

    Rationale 

    Inherent in this principle is the notion that employment justice, as currently defined and implemented by the American court system, adheres to the notion that 1) hiring must be done in a nondiscriminatory manner (EEO), and 2) American society has the moral obligation to remedy the effects of past employment discrimination (this is known as compensatory justice). Equal opportunity is based on the concept of distributive justice which, in part, has to do with the way in which economic decisions, such as hiring, compensation, and promotion, are made. Organizations must determine the most equitable way to distribute benefits, often using merit systems. Race, gender, age, and so forth typically would not be seen as having anything to do with merit. Affirmation action, on the other hand, is based on the theory of compensatory justice and concerned with compensating groups for a past injustice. Under affirmative action, a candidate’s race and gender may be factored into the hiring process.

    Both the private and public sectors have come to believe that affirmative action is a means of creating more diversity in their work forces, which is seen as a benefit to—and even a need of—the organization. From an organizational and, indeed, societal standpoint, an effective affirmative action program allows for greater use of talent, and empowers organizations to relate more effectively to their diverse clientele, be they customers or clients. 

    At the core of an effective affirmative action program is recruitment, i.e., attracting the interest of targeted populations. Thus, recruiters in NACE member organizations seeking to meet their affirmative action goals view campus recruiting as a means of inviting underrepresented individual to apply, interview, and ultimately accept an offer of employment. Given their partnership with career services offices in the recruitment enterprise, recruiters will ask for cooperation in reaching these students.

    Scenario 

    An employer seeks to recruit college women and members of minority groups for a management training program as part of its diversity enhancement effort.

    Resolution 

    The issue here is not whether or not to court the interest of these candidates, but rather it has to do with how this effort is carried out. Career services professionals are obliged to provide equal service and opportunity for all students, but for them to single out students based on race, ethnicity, or gender is inappropriate. Thus a "minority only" recruitment effort would not be supported...nor should it be. 

    Instead, the employer should conceive of a recruitment effort that encourages minority interest and reaches out to minority group members, but also is inclusive of all students who might qualify for the management training program. This effort is most likely to be successful if it is comprehensive. Advertisement to students may include wording that encourages minority and female applications, while also making it clear that all qualified applicants are welcomed.  

    The employer should ask the career services office for the names of advisers and officers of student organizations that contain a critical mass of minority and female members (e.g., Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers) so that contacts may be made with these groups.  

    College career services professionals have a corresponding obligation to support affirmative action efforts. They must do so, however, in a way that does not compromise their obligation to provide equal and full service to all campus constituencies. Asking the career services professional to single out students or announce minority- or female-only opportunities is not acceptable, nor is it likely to be warmly received. Similarly, bypassing the career services office and going directly to faculty in an effort to have them engage in this sort of activity would not be in keeping with the ethical standards of the Principles

    7. Disclosure of student information 

    "Employment professionals will maintain the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including personal knowledge, written records/reports, and computer data bases. There will be no disclosure of student information to another organization without the prior written consent of the student, unless necessitated by health and/or safety considerations.  

    Intent 

    Student privacy will be protected.

    Rationale 

    Privacy is an important right that must be guarded. We protect students from the embarrassment and sense of personal violation that often accompany having had confidentiality breached. 

    Employers are entitled to obtain personal information about employees and candidates for which there is a legitimate interest, i.e., a bona fide need for the information being requested. That is, without this information the employer cannot successfully run the business. If, for example, grade point average is determined to be a necessary and justifiable screening criterion, the employment professional must be certain that this information is used only for the screening process, and is not shared with others in the organization who do not have a need to know. Similarly, if a student mentions a disability that requires an accommodation, the employment professional’s organization must make certain that this information is shared only with individuals in the organization who have a legitimate need to know. 

    Scenario 

    XYZ Company would like to “gift” all incoming computer science majors a new ipod for attending the company’s information meeting. The company representative requested student e-mail addresses of this select group from the career services office in order to invite this major to the event and want to make sure they have enough “gifts” for all attending students.  

    Resolution 

    Although this is a generous offer from the XYZ Company, the career services office is not at liberty to give student information to any company without prior consent from the student. The best case scenario for the employer is to advertise the event to the campus with a description stating “desired majors” should attend via the marketing options available through the career services office. 

    8. Testing 

    "Those engaged in administering, evaluating, and interpreting assessment tools, employment screening tests, and technology used in selection will be trained and qualified to do so. Employment professionals must advise the career services office of any test/assessment conducted on campus and eliminate such a test if it violates campus policies. Employment professionals must advise students in a timely fashion of the type and purpose of any test/assessment that students will be required to take as part of the recruitment process and to whom the results will be disclosed. All tests/assessments will be reviewed by the employing organization for disparate impact and job-relatedness. 

    Intent 

    Judgments made in the selection process should be fair; this includes having an accurate method of appraising student qualifications for the positions being filled. The student’s right to make an informed decision about participating in the employer’s selection process should be protected.  

    Rationale  

    Justice and the respect for the human right of autonomy, i.e., being able to function independently of the control of others, serve as the foundations of this principle. Some assessments, notably those that assess personality or intelligence, may heighten student anxiety. Candidates whose autonomy is being respected will be provided with timely, clear, and thorough information that they can understand and use to reach a rational decision about whether or not to participate. This is known as "informed consent," i.e., being empowered to make a fully considered decision, without coercion, as to taking part in a process that might have an impact on the individual’s well being.  

    That the selection process is fair to a large degree means that the candidates are chosen based on their qualifications for the position. In that spirit, assessments should accurately determine the presence of the qualities in question. In addition, those qualities should be ones that successful employees actually need. Otherwise, selection decisions can be unwise. Moreover, if the assessment disproportionately screens out women and minority group members and if the qualities it is assessing cannot be shown to be needed by successful employees, a charge of job discrimination can be filed and enforced in the courts.  

    Scenario 

    Extra Eager Inc employer (EEI) uses an automated assessment to screen applicants. EEI interviews candidates, then, after the interview, informs them of the automated assessment that must be completed in the next two days. Candidates cannot opt out of the assessment. 

    Resolution 

    EEI is allowed to use an automated assessment as a means to find candidates that fit the company profile. What is paramount in the process is that EEI disclose that an assessment is part of the expected recruitment procedure and how the results will be used. EEI should be certain that its assessment has been validated among diverse groups of individuals and measures traits needed by their organization. 

    9. Using third-party organizations

    "When using organizations that provide recruiting services for a fee, employment professionals will respond to inquiries by the career services office regarding this relationship and the positions the organization was contracted to fill. This principle applies equally to any other form of recruiting that is used as a substitute for the traditional employer/student interaction.”  

    Intent 

    The student’s right to make an informed decision about participating in an employer’s selection process should be protected. 

    Rationale  

    This principle’s foundation rests with two of the Principles fundamental precepts, namely “informed and responsible decision making by candidates” and “open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought, where job candidates can choose optimum long-term uses of their talents that are consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts.” In short, the candidate’s autonomy is at risk when he or she is denied the opportunity to have the information necessary to make a job-related decision.  

    Moreover, the career services office is responsible for ensuring that the organizations recruiting its students meet whatever guidelines are set by the institution. Minimally, these would be EEO/AA expectations, but could also pertain to requirements related to the institution’s religious affiliation.  

    Scenario 

    American Manufacturing has recruited on campus for many years but now has decided to contract with a third-party employer, Just in Time Hiring, to recruit for administrative positions. Just in Time Hiring posts a position at the nearby campus. The position states the qualifications, skills, abilities, and functions required to perform the job, but does not state the company name for which the students are applying.   

    Resolution 

    American Manufacturing should inform the career services office of its relationship with Just in Time Hiring. Just in Time Hiring may need to keep its client confidential. Students who apply should be informed about the organization for which Just in Time is recruiting. American Manufacturing should make sure the third-party employer does not charge any fees to the student to be considered for their organization.   

    10. Recruiting outside the career services office

    "When employment professionals conduct recruitment activities through student associations or academic departments, such activities will be conducted in accordance with the policies of the career services office.” 

    Intent 

    To ensure student rights as set forth in the Principles will be protected.

    Rationale 

    The recruitment-related policies of the career services office are created to provide for a fair selection process that includes all students who wish to participate. Faculty and student organizations are not members of NACE and thus not necessarily aware of the ethical and legal foundations to a professional recruitment effort. Since the career services office may not necessarily know of all activities a recruiting organization may be involved in on campus, the responsibility rests in large part with the employment professional to see that these ethical standards are not violated. 

    Scenario 

    ABC Company is eager to attract many strong candidates within the School of Business at Cool College. The ABC recruiter called several faculty members and asked to present a lecture to the students in the professor’s class.  

    Resolution 

    Although it is encouraged that employers made connections with faculty members, it is always advised the employers work through career services offices to ensure a fair and equitable process and maintain strong connections. The career services office can suggest multiple ways employers can connect with students for maximum employer exposure.

    11. Adhering to career services policies

    "Employment professionals will cooperate with the policies and procedures of the career services office, including certification of EEO compliance or exempt status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act, and will honor scheduling arrangements and recruitment commitments.” 

    Intent 

    To ensure students are treated fairly.

    Rationale 

    The policies and procedures of the career services office are intended to honor the three precepts of the Principles document, i.e., maintaining "an open and free selection of employment opportunities," "a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations," and "informed and responsible decision-making by candidates." 

    Beyond confirming its adherence to the law of the land, fairness demands that the employing organizations make good on its commitments. While unforeseen changes in hiring needs create a legitimate reason for canceling or postponing an interview date or withdrawing an offer of employment, the employing organization's recruitment plan should reflect careful and professional planning. Likewise, when offers must be withdrawn due to unforeseen circumstances, the employer should engage in a good faith effort to minimize the harm done to the student.

    Scenario 

    A door-to-door sales company contacted the career services office to recruit students at State College. The sales company wanted to identify potential candidates through an ice cream booth in the campus recreation center. In order to get the ice cream cone, the student needed to fill out a profile from that would go in the data base of this company.  

    Resolution 

    It was appropriate for the organization to contact the career services office to learn if the proposed recruitment plan would be permitted on campus. Although all employers are welcome on campus, employers need to disclose the nature of why they are gathering student information. In this instance, it is to contact the students later in an effort to attract them as employees of this organization. Employers should not feel the need to barter goods and services in exchange for student information.  

    12. Honoring commitments

    Employment professionals will honor scheduling arrangements and recruitment commitments.

    Intent  

    Professionals respect the time and effort associated with recruiting and desire a positive reputation.

    Rationale  

    This principle considers both respect and reputation. Many people are often involved in scheduling and recruitment for promotion and logistics. Students also arrange their personal schedule in order to interact with employers. When an organization cancels or fails to participate in campus recruiting, individuals are affected. In addition, the organization's reputation may be affected. Career centers and students may be hesitant to invest time in an organization that does not honor schedules or other recruiting commitments.

    Scenario  

    An expanding organization, Ivy Growth, plans to establish a strong campus presence. Ivy Growth registers for the fall career fair, requests assistance with a tent plaza promotion, arranges a student organization presentation, and establishes five campus interviewing schedules. A week before the first of these events, Ivy Growth decides to cancel, citing travel conflicts. Ivy Growth asks the career center to contact the tent rental staff, student organization members, and students scheduled to interview. They also ask for a refund for career fair registration.

    Resolution  

    The decision about the career fair registration refund falls within the policies of the career center; often late cancellations are not eligible for refunds. Many career centers would ask the organization to directly contact those affected by this cancellation, primarily to ensure no long-term damage to the organization's reputation. Ivy Growth should have better planned its recruiting schedule to provide adequate staffing for this large campus outreach effort. 
     

    13. Recruiting for international offices 

    "Employment professionals recruiting for international operations will do so according to EEO standards. Employment professionals will advise the career services office and students of the realities of working in that country and of any cultural or foreign law differences.” 

    Intent 

    Students should be treated fairly and be empowered to make well-considered decisions about international employment. 

    Rationale 

    Employers seeking to fill positions in their internationally based offices may be dealing with customs and laws that are not acceptable in the United States. This principle affirms that organizations recruiting to fill positions through campus recruiting in the United States may not screen out students who, due to their American citizenship, might not be fully considered back in the home country. At the same time, so that American students are able to make a fully rational decision about interviewing, it is imperative that they understand that they may not be seriously considered or might run into roadblocks that would not be placed before them in the United States. For example, an American woman looking for work with an American company in its Middle East offices should be aware of restrictions placed on women in those countries. The student is then free to decide whether or not to pursue these opportunities. 

    Scenario 

    A company based overseas is interested in gaining applicants for their seasonal summer internship. Students would be working in a country with very strict dress standards for female applicants. Previous experience with American students has led this company to believe that females may not be interested in the work. The company asked that the career services office post a position in the job listing service indicating only male students should apply. 

    Resolution 

    Although there are cultural differences among countries, organizations that recruit in the United States should be in compliance with U.S. law. In the scenario above, there is a conflict between U.S. law, international law, and culture. Moreover, this conflict is resolved in different ways depending upon whether it is a U.S.-incorporated company with operations outside of the United States, or a foreign-based company hiring for its operations outside of the United States, or whether there is a treaty that supersedes both. Generally, a U.S.-based employer must comply with EEO law in its operations outside of the United States unless to do so would cause that employer to violate a foreign law. Foreign-based employers are generally not required to comply with EEO law when hiring for operations outside of the United States.  

    The employer should explain the realities of working in a certain country to students and the cultural and legal differences that may impact his/her hiring decision. Employers should not exclude qualified students with a particular characteristic based on an experience with a similarly qualified student. Communication between the employer and student is vital for both to make decisions about international employment.

    14. Promoting acceptance of NACE’s ethical principles within the organization

    "Employment professionals will educate and encourage acceptance of these principles throughout their employing institution and by third parties representing their employing organization on campus, and will respond to reports of noncompliance."  

    Intent 

    The right of students and colleges to a fair process that rewards their principled recruitment participation and facilitation will be protected.  

    Rationale 

    While a number of principles have been adopted that are specifically identified for employment professionals, the behavior outlined in these principles must be observed by all parties to this process, notably non-college relations members who participate in the recruitment process and third-party representatives. This principle is aimed at ensuring that recruitment processes are fair and equitable to candidates and career services offices. An alumnus “pinch hitting” for a regular college recruiter should be oriented to the do’s and don’ts of principled recruitment practice. Managers and executives participating in on-site student interviewing should be similarly prepared. Students should not be placed in a situation where they are asked questions or required to participate in activities that the employment professional, adhering to NACE’s Principles, would never pose or initiate.  

    Scenario 

    An employer does not contact the career services office, but instead calls a faculty member whom the employer knows through an existing research contract. The employer explains that only one vacancy exists, and he would be very grateful if the faculty member would recommend the department’s top three students for consideration. The employer does not have time to recruit on campus and also does not want to receive numerous resumes that would consume valuable office time. 

    Resolution 

    It is not uncommon for employers to contact a faculty member to request names of students as potential job candidates. While it may seem harmless to provide names, there are some potential legal and ethical pitfalls. By referring students for employment on a regular basis, the faculty member could be considered an "employment agency" for purposes of compliance with equal employment opportunity law. If the faculty member is, innocently or otherwise, referring male students only, or not referring minority students, the faculty member is open to charges of discrimination. When the faculty member refers only three candidates, and does not publicize the position to all who may be qualified, the doctrine of fairness is violated. The best course of action would be to contact the career services office so that the position can be listed for all who qualify. The faculty member could also post the position within the academic department and announce it in his/her classes.

    Principles for Third-Party Recruiters

    Preface: The NACE Principles provides definitions and guidelines for third parties, contractual, and staffing services. It is our hope that career services will use this information to make appropriate decisions about the use of third-party, contractual, and staffing services in their operations, including career fairs. These standards are also designed to provide guidance to third-party recruiters who recruit college graduates through the college recruitment process. These standards are not to be construed as requiring or encouraging, or prohibiting or discouraging, use of third-party recruiters by college or employer professionals.  

    1. Definition of third-party recruiter

    a)     Third-party recruiters are agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time or full-time employment opportunities other than for their own needs. This  includes entities that refer or recruit for profit or not for profit, and it includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and employment;

    b)    Third-party recruiting organizations charge for services using one of the following fee structures:

        1. Applicant paid fee—The applicant pays the third-party recruiter a fee based upon the applicant's starting salary once the applicant is placed with an employer.
        2. Employer paid fee

          1. Retainer—The employer pays a flat fee to the third-party recruiter for services performed in the recruiting of individuals to work for the employer.
          2. Contingency fee—The employer pays the third-party recruiter a percentage of the applicant's starting salary once the applicant is hired by the employer.
          3. Fee for service – The employer pays a fee for specific services, e.g. job postings, access to resumes, booth space at a job fair, and so forth.
           

    c) The above definition includes, but is not limited to, the following entities regardless of the fee structure used by the entity to charge for services;

    1. Employment Agencies - Organizations that list positions for a number of client organizations and receive payment when a referred candidate is hired. The fee for listing a position is paid either by the firm listing the opening (fee paid) or by the candidate who is hired.
    2. Search Firms—Organizations that contract with clients to find and screen qualified persons to fill specific positions. The fees for this service are paid by the clients.
    3. Contract Recruiter—Organizations that contract with an employer to act as the employer's agent in the recruiting and employment function.
    4. Online job posting or resume referral services – For-profit or commercial organizations that collect data on job seekers and display job opportunities to which job seekers may apply.  The data collected on job seekers are sent to prospective employers.  Fees for using the services may exist for the employer, school, or job seeker.

    d) Temporary agencies or staffing services —Temporary agencies or staffing services are employers, not third-party recruiters, and will be expected to comply with the professional practice principles set forth for employer professionals. These organizations contract to provide individuals qualified to perform specific tasks or complete specific projects for a client organization. Individuals perform work at the client organization, but are employed and paid by the agency.

    e) Outsourcing contractors or leasing agencies – Outsourcing contractors or leasing agencies are employers, not third-party recruiters, and will be expected to comply with the professional practice principles set forth for employment professionals.  These organizations contract with client organizations to provide a specific functional area that the organizations no longer desires to perform, such as accounting, technology services, human resources, cafeteria services, and so forth.  Individuals hired by the outsourcing or leasing firm are paid and supervised by the firm, even though they work on the client organization’s premises.

    f) In most cases temporary agencies, staffing services, outsourcing contractors, or leasing firms will be treated as employers.  However, should these firms actually recruit individuals to be employees or another organization, then the third-party professional practice principles shall apply.

    Scenario 

    John Wilson of ABC Consulting contacts the career services office. John is a school alumnus and works with several different organizations to fulfill employment needs. His primary clients are school districts; he performs the initial screening interviews for those schools. He also has a technology firm client. John plans to attend the upcoming career fair and use booth materials identifying the technology firm (with the firm’s permission). He also would like to gather resumes of potential educators at his booth.

    Resolution 

    John is a third-party recruiter, falling under the categories of search firm and contract recruiter. He serves as a contract recruiter for the technology firm, acting as its agent to recruit and employ. He also is a search firm, trying to identify candidates for school districts. The career services office should be consistent in its practices regarding allowing third-party recruiters to attend career fairs. John is clearly identifying his technology client and sharing that information with students. He also needs to be clear about his other clients and how fees are handled.  

    2. Knowledge of the field, industry, and organization, possession of requisite skills

    "Third-party recruiters will be versed in the recruitment field and work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing, and selection techniques."  

    Intent 

    Students will be able to engage with third-party recruiters who provide a selection process that makes for rationale decision making about employment offers. 

    Rationale 

    There is an assumption by students that the third-party recruiters recruiting at their school are using a process that makes for appropriate hiring decisions. A competently administered recruitment process contributes to valid decisions by candidates about employment offers. This is in keeping with the fundamental precepts of the Principles document, namely:  

    1) a selection process where candidates can make choices that are "consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts,"  

    2) "a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates," and  

    3) "informed and responsible decision-making by candidates." 

    From the career services perspective, there is also a partnership with employers that is intended to benefit all parties involved in this process. This demands that employers be able to function within accepted professional standards and represent their organizations accurately to the career services office. 

    Finally, third-party recruiters are relied on by their clients to attract and hire the best candidates possible. Not only does this require basic competence, but also there is the need to attract candidates whose reasons for choosing the organization match with the reality of that organization. Otherwise, turnover and the costs associated with these errors will result. 

    Scenario 

    Dream Job Staffing posts positions for area hospitals. Individuals apply directly to Dream Job Staffing and have interviews at the home office. Second interviews are conducted at the client hospital with a Dream Job staff member and hospital representative. Hired individuals are paid by Dream Job Staffing but work at the individual hospital. General Hospital recently told Dream Job Staffing that it has had a lot of problems with recent hires missing work due to sick children and other health-related issues. The hospital would like Dream Job to do more screening to determine if the applicants would have some of these issues. 

    Resolution 

    Although Dream Job Staffing is a staffing agency, it  still needs to abide by appropriate recruiting practices. The agency cannot screen applicants based on family status or personal health. The agency could ask applicants questions regarding attendance at past positions and can convey General Hospital’s expectations regarding attendance.

    3. Compliance with EEO and AA principles

    "Third-party recruiters will follow EEO standards in recruiting activities in a manner that includes the following: 

    1. Referring qualified students to employers without regard to the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; 
    2. Reviewing selection criteria for adverse impact and screening students based upon job-related criteria only, not based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, or disability; 
    3. Refusing, in the case of resume referral entities, to permit employers to screen and select resumes based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, or disability;  
    4. Avoiding use of inquiries that are considered unacceptable by EEO standards during the recruiting process; 
    5. Affirming an awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural differences and the diversity of the work force;  
    6. Investigating complaints forwarded by the career services office or the employer client regarding EEO noncompliance and seeking resolution of such complaints. 

    Intent 

    The recruitment of students from colleges will be carried out in a manner mirroring the standards of justice in the United States.

    Rationale 

    Inherent in this principle is the notion that employment justice, as currently defined and implemented by the American court system, adheres to the notion that 1) hiring must be done in a nondiscriminatory manner (EEO) and 2) American society has the moral obligation to remedy the effects of past employment discrimination, known as compensatory justice. Equal opportunity is based on the concept of distributive justice which has to do, in part, with the way in which economic decisions such as hiring, compensation, and promotion are made. Organizations must determine the most equitable way to distribute benefits, often using merit systems. Race, gender, age, and other protected classifications would typically not be seen as having anything to do with merit. Affirmation action, on the other hand, is based on the theory of compensatory justice, concerned with compensating someone for a past injustice. Under affirmative action, a candidate’s race and gender may be factored into the hiring process. 

    It should also be noted that both the private and public sectors have come to believe that affirmative action is a means of creating more diversity in their work forces, which is seen as definite benefit to organizations, even a need. From an organization and, indeed, a societal standpoint, an effective affirmative action program allows for greater use of talent, and empowers organizations to relate more effectively to their diverse audiences, be their customers or clients. 

    At the core of an effective affirmative action program is recruitment, i.e., attracting the interest of targeted populations. Thus, third-party recruiters in NACE member organizations seeking to meet their affirmative action goals view campus recruiting as a means of inviting underrepresented individual to apply, interview, and ultimately accept an offer of employment. Given their partnership with career services offices in the recruitment enterprise, third-party recruiters will ask for cooperation in reaching these students.

    Scenario 

    A third-party recruiter is retained by an client organization that is seeking to recruit college women and members of minority groups for a management training program as part of its diversity enhancement effort.

    Resolution 

    The issue here is not whether or not to court the interest of these candidates; rather it has to do with how this effort is carried out. Career services professionals are obliged to provide equal service and opportunity for all students. But for them to single out students based on race, ethnicity, or gender is inappropriate . Thus a “minority only” recruitment would not be supported, nor should it be. 

    The third-party recruiter should conceive of a recruitment effort that encourages minority interest but is also inclusive of all students who might qualify for the management training program. This effort is most likely to be successful if it is comprehensive. Advertisement to students may include wording that encourages minority and female applicants, while also making it clear that all qualified applicants are welcomed. The third-party recruiter should ask the career services office for the names of advisers and officers of student organizations that contain a critical mass of minority and female members (e.g., Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, etc.) so that contacts may be made with these groups.  

    College career services professionals have an obligation to support affirmative action efforts. They must do so, however, in a way that does not compromise their obligation to provide equal and full service to all campus constituencies. Asking the career services professional to single out students or announce minority- or female-only opportunities is not acceptable, nor is it likely to be warmly received. Similarly, bypassing the career services office and going directly to faculty in an effort to have them engage in this sort of activity would not be in keeping with the ethical standards of the Principles.

    4. Charging students for services 

    "Career centers may choose to advise students to approach with caution third-party recruiters who charge a fee. Members are encouraged to make available to students the NACE publication, “A Student’s Guide to Interviewing With Third-Party Recruiters.”   

    Intent 

    This principle upholds the two of the three basic precepts of the Principles document, namely 1) to maintain an open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought and 2) to maintain a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to candidates and employing organizations.

    Rationale 

    This writing of this principle is driven primarily by the need to balance the right of students to gain access to the broadest range of opportunities possible with the obligation to ensure that employers with special methods or needs respect appropriate recruiting practices. The concern about fees emanates from concern that some students may be precluded from exploring certain career opportunities due to inadequate financial resources.  

    Scenario 

    A legitimate employer informed the career center that the organization was outsourcing some human resources functions and requested that its third-party contractor be able to post positions. Upon further investigation, the career center learned that although candidates apply without charge, the third-party recruiter contacts the candidates to offer additional services for an extra fee. The fee would allow for inclusion in a specialized data base. The career center wants to make these opportunities available to students but is concerned about advertising opportunities for an organization that charges a fee.

    Resolution 

    Career centers may determine the extent of their relationship with third-party recruiters. The career center is typically not obligated to allow the same access as would be granted to an employer offering direct employment.   

    Although fees are disclosed to the student in line with what is required by the NACE Principles, the marketing of additional services to students may preclude some individuals from applying due to lack of financial resources. The career center, if publishing this opportunity, should advise students to approach with caution organizations that charge a fee and make available to the students the NACE publication, “A Student’s Guide to Interviewing With Third-Party Recruiters.”

    5. Disclosure of information to students and career services 

    "Third-party recruiters will disclose information as follows: 

    1. Third-party recruiters will disclose to students the name(s) of the client, or clients, that the third party is representing and to whom the students’ credentials will be disclosed.   
    2. When deemed necessary, third-party recruiters will disclose information upon request to career services that would enable career services to verify that it is recruiting for a bona fide job opportunity. Information should include contact information for the organization for which the third party is providing recruiting services. Career services must respect the confidentiality of this information and may not publish it in any manner. 

    Intent 

    The student’s right to make an informed decision about participating in an employer’s selection process should be protected. 

    Rationale 

    This principle’s foundation rests with two of the Principles’ fundamental precepts, namely "informed and responsible decision making by candidates" and "open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought, where job candidates can choose optimum long-term uses of their talents that are consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts." In short, the candidate’s autonomy is at risk when he or she is denied the opportunity to have the information necessary to make a job-related decision. 

    Moreover, the career services office is responsible for ensuring that the organizations recruiting its students meet whatever guidelines are set by the institution. Minimally, these would be EEO/AA expectations, but could also pertain to requirements related to the institution’s religious affiliation.

    Scenario 

    Retrieve.com, an online systems vendor, has come to campus to talk about outsourcing the student data base. Retrieve’s system requires a student to upload a resume for viewing by an employer. Only employers who are subscribers to this vendor’s service can view the resumes. Students will be contacted by Retrieve.com if a potential match is made and then be given information about the employer. 

    Resolution 

    Career services may not want to outsource the student data base as it may limit opportunities for students. As Retrieve.com works with an employer subscriber base, it is possible that students would not be presented with opportunities with organizations that do not subscribe. If career services outsources the entire student data base, the student is not given an opportunity to opt out of resume referral and has not given permission for release of information. In addition, the hidden nature of the resume referral means the student is not aware of what types of employers may access the information and is not given the name of the organization that receives his or her resume. Career services should be cautious in granting a third-party agency any type of exclusive student  access. 

    6. Disclosure of student information 

    "Third-party recruiters will not disclose to any employer, including the client-employer, any student information without obtaining prior written consent from the student. Under no circumstances can student information be disclosed other than for the original recruiting purposes nor can it be sold or provided to other entities. Online job-posting and resume-referral services must prominently display their privacy policies on their web sites, specifying who will have access to student information."  

    Intent 

    Student privacy will be protected.

    Rationale 

    Privacy is an important right that must be guarded. We protect students from the embarrassment and sense of personal violation that often accompany having had confidentiality breached. 

    Third-party recruiters and their clients are entitled to obtain personal information about employees and candidates for which there is a legitimate interest, i.e., a bona fide need for the information being requested. That is, without this information the employer cannot successfully run the business. If grade point average is determined to be a necessary and justifiable screening criterion, the employment professional must be certain that this information is used only for the screening process, and is not shared with others in the organization who do not have a need to know. Similarly, if a student mentions a disability that requires an accommodation, the employment professional’s organization must make certain that this information is shared only with individuals in the organization who have a legitimate need to know. 

    Scenario 

    ACE Technical, a third-party recruiting company, recruits software engineers. ACE Technical contacted the career services and requested permission to post a job opportunity and collect resumes for Hatch Automotive. ACE Technical received 20 resumes and identified several for Hatch Automotive to consider. ACE Technical realized that some of these students may be appropriate for other clients and sent the resumes to other clients. 

    Resolution 

    The students applied to ACE Technical for a specific job opportunity. They did not give permission for their resume to be more widely distributed. ACE Technical needs to contact the students and request permission and should also contact the career services office and explain its intent to contact students regarding other opportunities. ACE Technical should disclose the names of the other clients to both the career services office and students, to ensure there is not already a working relationship. 

    7. Disclosure of clients at career fairs

    "Third-party recruiters attending career fairs will represent employers that have authorized them and will disclose the names of the represented employers to career services upon request.”  

    Intent 

    The student’s right to make an informed decision about participating in an employer’s selection process should be protected.

    Rationale 

    This principle’s foundation rests with two of the Principles’ fundamental precepts, namely "informed and responsible decision making by candidates" and "open and free selection of employment opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought, where job candidates can choose optimum long-term uses of their talents that are consistent with personal objectives and all relevant facts." In short, the candidate’s autonomy is at risk when he or she is denied the opportunity to have the information necessary to make a job-related decision. 

    Moreover, the career services office is responsible for ensuring that the organizations recruiting its students meet whatever guidelines are set by the institution.

    Scenario 

    A career services office has a policy that says that third-party recruiters may not attend career fairs. The career fair coordinator receives a call from Kirkmen Manufacturing. Kirkmen has attended career fairs in the past but now says it is working with Manford Consultants to represent it at career events. Manford Consultants represents several clients.

    Resolution 

    The career services office will have to decide if it wants to alter its policy. By not allowing Manford Consultants to attend the fair, the office deprives students of the opportunity to learn about Kirkmen Manufacturing, a long-standing employer. The career services office may wish to alter its policy to allow for Manford (and other similar organizations) to attend, with the understanding that the clients Manford represents have authorized the participation and allow disclosure of information.

    Created May 2010. Current as of June 2012.


User's Guide to the Principles for Professional Practice