< Back to Hiring Blog

How to Adapt Your Entry-Level Hiring and University Recruiting This Summer

May 20, 2020
iCIMS Staff
4 min read

The bull market has turned bearish, with employers evaluating how to evolve their business and workforce needs moving forward. What does this mean for graduates of the class of 2020? What impact will it have on rising college seniors? Let’s explore the impact on higher education, entry-level hiring, and university recruiting.

Dialing back on bringing on new entry-level talent is an unfortunate outcome of the times. Job offers received ahead of graduation may be withdrawn or delayed, according to a poll conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Undergraduates who secured summer internships are facing similar plights, with Glassdoor reporting that internship opportunities have dropped 52 percent since early March.

Students are also reassessing their options when it comes to work. According to Ivy Research Council, the pandemic has made close to half of students reconsider their job or industry preference, and nearly a third reconsider job location. Employers like Apple are recognizing and capitalizing on this trend with more fluid job requirements that open positions up to larger pools of talent: “We are fans of non-linear career paths and self-taught creators. There are no specific educational requirements, but curiosity and knowledge around building, making, and storytelling is a must.”

Thinking differently is a must right now. It will be essential for employers to strategically approach entry-level hiring and university recruiting so that they do not see a rift in their workforce in the coming months and into 2021.

Here’s how to do that:

Stay connected. While you may have had to freeze offers or cancel internships, you don’t have to pause engagement.

Our research found that nearly 2 in 3 recruiting professionals say they have been ghosted by a candidate in the past year. While current circumstances have shifted the power back to employers, losing a candidate after putting in so much time and effort to find and hire them is not in anyone’s best interest.

Keeping relationships warm will be key in building back up your workforce once you are ready. Candidate relationship management technology and text recruiting tools help you to communicate more efficiently and at scale with the employees that were put on hold.

And, developing a virtual mentorship program can help you create meaningful connections with interns that you had planned to bring on board. Deloitte UK is offering a voluntary four-week virtual mentorship in lieu of its internship program. Students will be given a mentor and provided the opportunity to work alongside Deloitte employees to learn about possible careers at the organization.

Embrace virtual recruiting tools. Pre-pandemic about 3.6 percent of the U.S. employee workforce worked from home at least half the time.

These days, telecommuting and remote work has become the norm for most businesses. According to an article published by Bloomberg, “Users of Microsoft Teams soared to a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200% increase from 900 million on March 16, the company said on April 9. Even amid security concerns, Zoom has gone from being used by 10 million office workers a day to more than 200 million people.”

As we march forward, it will be essential to not only work virtually but to embrace virtual recruiting and virtual hiring. Employers will need to think differently, using online networking and recruiting events to connect and initiate relationships with recent and soon-to-be graduates. Virtual career fairs enable recruiters to meet with candidates at scale. These virtual events are quite similar to those held on campus: your recruiters can share information about your company, discuss your hiring process and open positions, and answer questions from students via online chat.

Consider alternative workforce options. Thinking strategically about the talent you need now and in the future is crucial.

Some organizations may find themselves needing to rapidly hire large workforces; others may benefit from hiring temporary talent or gig workers on a contract or project basis. A gig role is a great way for newly minted graduates and students to get their foot in the door, especially in the current climate. (Here’s what we’ve learned about gig workers.)

The good news is entry-level talent is open to these types of alternative work options. Among the class of 2020 graduates, 22 percent are very likely to get a job in the gig economy to supplement their main income. And, 1 in 5 Gen Z employees already have a “side hustle” in addition to their main job.

Are you ready to take your university recruiting strategies virtual? Check out our eBook, Keep Your Business Running with Virtual Hiring, to learn how you can kick start hiring your entry-level workforce now.


Join our growing community

and receive free tips on how to attract, engage, hire, & advance the best talent.

privacy notice

Explore categories

Explore categories

Back to top

Learn how iCIMS can help you attract, engage, hire, and advance the best talent

Read more about Changing tech

2023 year in review

Read more

We’re building better GenAI for talent acquisition

Read more

Beyond the Hype: The Essential Need for Fair and Compliant AI Hiring

Read more