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.)
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.