It is difficult for students to perform their best at—or even take part in—virtual recruiting events when they are concerned about their internet access and technology.
NACE’s 2021 Student Survey found that students from historically marginalized groups were more likely to report that the virtual recruiting environment provides a positive job-search experience, but were also more likely to express concern about accessing the internet than were white students. In fact, 20% of Black students and 16.5% of Hispanic-American students had trouble accessing the internet compared to 12.6% of white students.
Lack of access to reliable technology and high-speed internet service can prevent students from fully participating in the virtual recruiting events that have become much more prevalent over the past two years. This, in turn, can have a negative impact on employers’ efforts to diversify their workforces.
NACE advises employers not to assume that students have the proper hardware and software tools to engage optimally in virtual recruiting efforts. To help mitigate some of this issue, employers should:
- Ensure that the colleges and universities they are working with have adequate technology and can provide students with access, as needed. In particular, college career centers can work with employers and students to help them connect virtually.
- Make accommodations or arrangements when students need them. For example, this may mean arranging for a student to take part in a virtual interview through the campus career center or helping the student find a location and equipment elsewhere that will support a virtual interview.
- Provide technology, depending on the circumstance. For example, during the summer of 2020, many employers discovered they had to address technology gaps when they had to transform their in-person internship programs into virtual experiences. Many did so by providing their interns with laptops and other equipment, specific software, and internet hot spots, and replicated this solution to ensure their 2021 summer internships went smoothly.