- Historically marginalized populations — including women and Black, Hispanic and first-generation college students — had better job-searching experiences via virtual recruiting than traditional means, according to an annual survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
- The poll was based on responses from 15,351 students in bachelor's degree programs, 2,339 of which were graduating seniors. Marginalized groups said they learned more, got a more authentic view of potential employers and had better interactions with company representatives in virtual settings than face-to-face encounters.
- It also found class of 2021 graduating seniors reported receiving an average of 0.83 job offers, down from an average of 0.93 offers for the class of 2020.
The survey highlights the ways the coronavirus pandemic forced employers to change how they recruit college students. It also suggests these shifts may benefit historically marginalized groups.
Seventy-one percent of Black students and 61% of Hispanic students said they learned more about job opportunities through virtual means, according to NACE's survey. That's compared to 49% of White students who said the same.
"Virtual recruiting is a viable tool for employers that want to develop a wider, more diverse pool of candidates," Shawn VanDerziel, NACE's executive director, said in a statement. "Employers need to develop a strategy around virtual recruiting that leverages its advantages with historically marginalized populations."
That could include businesses using virtual recruiting to connect more with students at historically Black colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions, VanDerziel suggested.
NACE's survey also found that women, first-generation students and those of color are underrepresented in paid internships, which many employers use to scout workers for full-time jobs.
"The paid internship is often the entry point to the job market," VanDerziel said. "For marginalized populations who are underrepresented in these opportunities, this means they are not getting the same career start as their counterparts, feeding a cycle of inequity."
Upon graduation, paid interns had received an average of 1.12 job offers, NACE's survey found. That's compared to an average of 0.85 job offers to unpaid interns and 0.64 offers to students who didn't have an internship.
As the pandemic continues to disrupt the work world, colleges can take steps to help their students land virtual internships. Some schools have partnered with companies such as Handshake, which began offering virtual career fairs during the health crisis.
And others are creating remote opportunities for students. That includes the University of Maryland, College Park, which launched a remote digital marketing internship in a matter of weeks when the pandemic broke out.
The internship aims to connect local exporters with students who can work on tasks like social media marketing and website analytics. About 30 students participated in the program this summer, up from about two-dozen the year before.