Employers Committed to In-person Recruiting, but Virtual Remains Part of Employer, College Strategies

September 26, 2022 | By Kevin Gray

Employers conduct an in-person interview.

TAGS: career development, coronavirus, nace insights, recruiting, surveys, talent acquisition, technology, trends and predictions,

Employers are strongly committed to in-person college recruiting activities this fall as they are largely unencumbered by travel restrictions that organizations imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results of NACE’s Quick Poll on Fall Recruiting and Career Services.

Responding employers indicate that nearly 70% of their focus will be on in-person recruiting, now that travel restrictions have been lifted for the vast majority. Furthermore, four out of five employers said they are not preparing to pivot their plans in response to a surge in COVID and/or monkeypox this fall.

That doesn’t mean that virtual is out: In fact, thanks to the lessons learned over the past couple of years, virtual recruiting is a key part of employers’ strategy; according to respondents, nearly one-third of their recruiting efforts will be conducted virtually.

It’s also an important part of the delivery of career services. In fact, nearly all responding colleges and universities indicate they will provide career coaching/counseling in a hybrid format—a blend of in person and virtual—during the 2022-23 academic year and close to 70% will use a hybrid format for facilitating interviews.

While the strong majority of career fairs will be held in person, colleges and universities expect to conduct 20% of them virtually.

Employers are also expanding their college recruiting efforts. About one-quarter of employers have changed the cadence of their college recruiting schedule, with nearly all of these respondents saying they are starting earlier in the academic year.

The poll revealed that more than one-third will start recruiting earlier and end later than has been the case in the past. Although approximately one in four indicated they will be ending their recruiting cycle at the same time as in previous years, nearly as many (37%) will be further expanding their college recruiting cycle by ending it later than they have in previous years.

To facilitate planning and benchmarking for both employers and career centers, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is conducting a quick poll that looks at fall recruiting as well as how career services offerings will be delivered. The poll will also examine how recruitment and career services delivery have shifted over time. The polls ran from August 22 through September 20, 2022; there were 188 respondents to the employer poll, while 451 institutions participated in the college poll. Full results of the NACE’s Quick Poll on Fall Recruiting and Career Services are available on NACEWeb.