College Hiring, Recruiting Outlook Brightens

College hiring brightened in February, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The monthly NACE hiring Index took a 5.4-point jump from January to February, meaning more actual hiring of college students took place. A second measure — of recruiting activity — took a 5-point jump.

“The February figure is the highest yet recorded since NACE launched the index poll in October 2009,” the organization reported, “indicating that the Spring 2011 recruiting season will likely be brisk.”

The increase brings the hiring component almost even with where it was in October, while the recruiting activity measure is stronger than it was a few months ago. For a few months there, the Index was in decline, contradicting the optimism of NACE’s twice-annual survey of college hiring intent, reported in the organization’s Job Outlook 2011 Fall Preview.

Based on surveys of almost 200 member companies, the outlook for college hiring was for an increase of 13.5 percent over 2010. Almost half the responding companies expected to increase the number of college hires. Compare that to the 2010 report, which found 16.9 percent of the survey respondents planned to increase college hiring. Almost 40 percent expected to decrease hires, with the balance of the surveyed employers maintaining their previous year’s hiring levels.

“At the outset of the 2010-11 academic year, the outlook for the class of 2011 was already significantly better than what we saw for the class of 2010,” Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “This new poll is additional evidence that the job market for new college graduates is opening up.”

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(The NACE Index is developed by polling a portion of the organization’s member employers on their college hiring and recruiting activity.)

New Sites

Unrelated to the NACE Index, the 1,100-site network managed by JobTarget introduced an online mentoring board and companion InternBoard. While the latter is for internships and will appeal to college students looking for opportunities, the former is a community building tool open to all comers.

The InternBoard can be integrated into an existing JobTarget site or deployed as a standalone. Intern candidates create profiles, resumes, and cover letters, search internship postings, and apply directly within the InternBoard or externally, as the employer prefers.

MentorBoard participants create profiles and qualify themselves as a mentor or a candidate. Profiles are searchable, but anonymous, until mentor and mentee connect.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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2 Comments on “College Hiring, Recruiting Outlook Brightens

  1. The increase in college hiring is echoed by our clients as well. We began to see this happen this past spring as many employers received last minute intern requests just before the summer. Also, hiring of college recruiters and directors has been steadily increasing over the past year, which further supports this increase.

    What is not clear is whether this is a validation that things are generally improving or just a need to temporarily inject the talent pipeline since so little entry level hiring has been going on. We think it is the former but we have seen clients more interested in procuring administrative services such as shipping, logistics, and augmented staffing from us. This could be a sign they are holding off on investing in more long term staffing infrastructure until they are sure of where the economy is headed.

    Steve Tiufekchiev

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