While a significant majority of career services offices report that students will be returning to campus in the fall and they will invite employers to campus to attend recruiting events, the majority of employers report plans to host their own virtual recruiting events, such as Zoom sessions, virtual tours, and virtual career fairs, according to preliminary results of NACE’s August 2021 quick poll on fall 2021 recruiting.
One factor playing into this shift for employers is the uncertainty about travel restrictions for recruiting activities this fall. At this point in the survey, nearly half of employers indicate that they have no such travel restrictions, but an equal percentage say their organization’s rules for travel this fall are yet to be determined; the remaining organizations have travel restrictions in place.
Colleges, however, seem to be planning for this either way as most will hold both in-person and virtual career fairs this fall. Among those that expect to hold career fairs in both formats, the plan is to do so at separate times and keep fees at their 2020-21 levels.
Another point of interest is that, in a time of heightened focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, just one-quarter of career services survey participants report tracking the engagement of historically marginalized students in career center activities.
NACE is polling employers and career services professionals on their plans for fall 2021 in light of the pandemic and greater opportunity to return to in-person interactions. The polls address plans for serving, engaging with, and recruiting college students for jobs and internships, but also capture what happened with employer internship programs held in summer 2021. The polls run July 27 through August 20, 2021, and results are offered in real time.