Employers Move Toward Offering Programs, Attending Events Both Virtually and In Person

May 2, 2021 | By Kevin Gray

Person on a video call


Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

At this point in the college recruiting cycle and with progress being made in the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are moving toward offering programs and attending events both virtually and in person, according to the final results of NACE’s Spring 2021 Quick Poll on Internships and Fall Recruiting.

More than 40% of employers are planning to hold a hybrid internship program this summer. In addition, approximately 45% expect and prefer to attend both in-person and virtual career fairs this fall.

Although 43% of responding employers anticipate holding a hybrid internship program this summer, 38% plan to offer a summer internship program that is exclusively virtual, which is not surprising. In fact, among employers that are planning to have either an exclusively virtual or exclusively in-person internship program this summer, three times as many will have a virtual program.

To keep their virtual interns connected to one another, more than 80% expect to use messaging software for them to communicate about work projects and hold virtual events for fun.

Likewise, messaging software—along with pairing interns with a “buddy” or mentor—is a key method for keeping virtual interns connected to their supervisor and to the organization.

In terms of attending career fairs in fall 2021, the highest percentage of responding recruiters not only prefer attending both in-person and virtual career fairs (44%), but also feel this is their most likely way forward (45%).

Nearly one-third of respondents prefer to attend virtual career fairs exclusively; 40% feel this is most likely the way they will attend career fairs. On the other hand, although 13% of recruiters would rather exclusively attend career fairs in person, none predicted this will be the most likely way they will actually do so in the fall.

This news comes as the majority of respondents (68%) report uncertainty around their ability to travel for fall 2021 recruiting activities.

NACE polled its employer members and nonmembers on their plans for their summer internship programs and for engaging in fall 2021 recruiting, in light of the pandemic. A total of 320 employer members and nonmembers responded to the poll, which ran from April 6 through April 30, 2021. Complete final results are available on NACEWeb.