Will employers return to recruiting students on-campus during the 2021-22 school year?

Posted December 12, 2020 by

Although the conventional wisdom is that most people are employed by small businesses, that most certainly is not true when it comes to the employment of students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities.

Most are employed by large employers and most of their hiring has traditionally happened through on-campus recruiting with recruiters and hiring managers spending weeks to months a year traveling from campus-to-campus and interviewing students in tiny rooms. The bulk of that happens in the fall and some in January, February, and even a bit into March. This school year, due to COVID, almost none of that happened. Instead, employers modernized their college hiring programs by taking advantage of online tools like virtual career events, job postings, and targeted email campaigns.

A lot of these same, large employers also greatly changed their approach to diversity hiring, largely as a result of the police killing of George Floyd in May and the fall-out from that. Instead of traveling to 20 campuses with three of them being HBCUs and regarding that as diverse, a significant minority of employers have embraced a more school and even major agnostic approach, which allows them to seriously consider students and recent graduates from all 7,400+ post-secondary schools. Instead of judging the quality of a prospective candidate by the name of her school, they’re now looking more to that candidate’s demonstrated ability to do the work.

Do I see a shift back to on-campus recruiting for the 2021-22 school year? Yes. Will it shift back to what it was until 2020? No, because employers have discovered that they can recruit better more efficiently (lower cost) and effectively (higher quality) on-line than on-campus.

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