• Key Elements of Effective Employer Partnerships

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    June 26, 2013

    Because of the influences and demands on career services and college relations work, a strategic approach to establishing effective employer partnerships is more vital now than ever, explains Trudy Steinfeld, assistant vice president and executive director of the Wasserman Center for Career Development at New York University.

    “I think the way the profession is going, every career services office needs to understand the value of and invest in employer partnerships,” Steinfeld says. “Employer partnerships that are viewed as effective collaborations between both parties enhance the prestige of career services and help firmly establish an employer brand on campus.”

    Steinfeld says career services operations should have a clearly defined employer relations strategy and corresponding activities. Following are just some of the elements critical to the development and effective implementation of that strategy that Steinfeld identifies in the book Leadership in Career Services: Voices from the Field:

    • Develop a strategic plan for employer engagement and partnership development. This should reflect a multi-faceted approach that engages employers by involving them in opportunities to interact with students and other campus stakeholders as well as career services. Create buy-in by involving the career services team and key campus partners, and develop a plan that can be disseminated with senior campus leadership.
    • Assess your employer stakeholders’ needs and goals. This can be accomplished by any combination of survey instruments, focus groups, formal employer advisory boards, and targeted conversations. Once you have the information, it’s important to implement strategies that demonstrate your responsiveness to the feedback you received.
    • Engage your existing employer partners in assessing the effectiveness of your outreach and engagement efforts. Encourage employers to provide candid feedback and suggest activities that would better support both of your efforts. Employers will undoubtedly have thoughts on process improvement and partnership development that can be extremely helpful to your efforts. Make sure you listen to their suggestions, acknowledge their support, and be willing to try things that seem viable.
    • Conduct an audit of your current employer partner base and determine if there are other employer relationships that may exist with other units and individuals on campus that you can leverage for recruiting and hiring purposes. Focus on exchanging information with alumni affairs, institutional advancement and fundraising, academic departments, university research centers, and corporate training units.
    • Make sure to work closely with and strengthen your ties to individual alumni. Many are willing to serve as “recruiting champions” and may be in a position to advocate for their organizations to build or expand a recruiting relationship with your institution.

    For more about “Leadership in Career Services: Voices from the Field,” see https://www.createspace.com/3943467.

Key Elements of Effective Employer Partnerships