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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

[video] The average cost-per-hire for on-campus recruiting is $3,582

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
March 20, 2016

Money saved for college with a small graduation cap

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Despite conventional wisdom, the vast majority of the students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities do not find their internships and entry-level jobs through their career service offices. The number of schools with well staffed and funded career service offices is, by many accounts, in the dozens yet there are over 7,400 post-secondary schools nationwide. Students at big, well funded, schools with strong brands amongst the largest employers of students can and often do find their jobs through their career service offices, but they’re the exception.

From the perspective of the employer, it is also worth noting that college recruiting isn’t nearly as expensive for the vast majority of hires as it would be if all of those students and grads were hired through on-campus recruiting. A recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicated that the AVERAGE cost-per-hire of recruiting a student through on-campus recruiting is now $3,582 when employers properly account for all of their related costs such as the costs for their college relations / recruitment office, pre-recruiting activities, recruiting trips, company visits, hiring costs, relocation, and advertising. Ouch. That cost is even higher for elite students in elite majors at elite schools. Double ouch.

We’re seeing a significant shift away from employers recruiting all of their interns and recent grads through on-campus recruiting to a more balanced approach where some of the candidates are sourced through career services and some through employee referrals, interactive media such as College Recruiter, and other channels. Why? Because it isn’t 1950 anymore. There’s this thing called the Internet and, with it, the ability to target candidates by school, geography, major, GPA, languages, military service, diversity, and more. Advertising campaigns can be planned and implemented within days instead of months for a properly executed campus recruiting program.

Employers who use interactive media such as job postings, targeted mobile banner advertising, targeted display advertising, targeted email campaigns, and virtual career events tell us that their time-to-hire and cost-per-hire are dramatically less than when they hire the same types of candidates through on-campus recruiting. There’s no question that on-campus recruiting has other benefits. Some very, very hard-to-hire candidates are best sourced through relationships employers developer with professors, career service office professionals, and other stakeholders at the schools but for every candidate like that, how many can be more effectively and efficiently sourced in a manner befitting the year 2016?

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