Many current college seniors in the US are concerned about their professional lives. The near-future college graduates are worried about the prospects of getting a job after graduation. Employers/recruiters can reach these seniors by being communicative, posting job opening online, and using phone and video interviews. Research shows that most college seniors are keen on going back to school for physical classes.
- Wellesley College’s senior majoring in English, Cheryn Shin, is concerned about her professional life. She observes that over the past few months, she has struggled to find a job she could start after graduation.
- “It feels like even fewer companies are looking to hire,” she says. “I was told that [majoring in] the humanities was all about luck and timing, so it felt like a slap in the face because it feels like I have neither of those.”
- Another senior from Stanford University, Fierberg, observes that the situation is quite challenging for both students with and without job offers after graduation. “I don’t have a job or anything lined up as of right now,” he says. “I know a lot of people who do have jobs lined up in the fall, and I think for them it’s reassuring to know that they have something, but I think that’s also scary because the economy is tanking.”
- Robertson, a senior at Davidson College, also has similar concerns. Although he had strong plans after graduation, he is uncertain about how things will turn out.
- “I was supposed to work at a camp in the summer. They’re saying that’s going to continue, but I’m skeptical. And I was supposed to travel abroad to Kyrgyzstan in August to teach.”
- “I really don’t know how that’s going to play out in terms of the pace of the virus. So professionally, it throws me through a loop,” says Robertson. “I know that’s a concern of a lot of working Americans, and I’m sort of in that liminal stage where I’m a student right now, but very soon I’m not going to be. “I was planning on being financially independent from my parents, that’s totally up in the air now as well.”
- Axel Lopez, a senior at University of California, Los Angeles, is also concerned about his professional life. Lopez, who documents the school’s sporting events through pictures, hoped to take a good job in the summer. However, the anticipated summer jobs did not come.
- “It’s a very uncertain time, considering just a couple of months ago, it seemed there was a surplus of jobs available,” he said.
- Ibukunoluwa Omole, a college senior at the University of Virginia majoring in public health, is concerned about his career progression. He is concerned about his ability to accumulate the needed credits.
- Omole explains, “Courses at my school are now being offered for credit or no credit, and I am not sure how this could affect my ability to get into medical school.”
- Another testimony by a University of Virginia senior, Jen, alludes to immediate financial concerns. Closure of campuses also led to loss of income for many students leading to financial pressures.
- “I am a first generation, low income student who is out of state and lives off grounds. I work at a student building and at a hotel off grounds. I lost both jobs in one day and now have no income.”
- “The building that had the food pantry is also closed so I have no access to that. My mother works in the service industry so she does not have a stable income at the moment, and my jobs were the most dependable. I am very worried about upcoming payments.”
- A senior at Butler University in Indianapolis, Andres Salerno, is also anxious about the job market. He was expecting to get a job on a political campaign in Texas but the expectation is no longer viable.
- “Everyone has a different job or career and all of it’s upended,” he said. “I had a loose idea of what I was doing in a few months. And now I’m just looking into the void.”
- The testimonials show that most seniors are concerned about their professional lives. Specifically, they are worried about their ability to finish classes and find a job after graduation. To address the concerns, the seniors should target to take part-time jobs as a fall back.
- Moreover, as advised by Barry Schreier, a psychologist at the University of Iowa, current students should hold on to their objectives, even if it will require them to adjust their timelines.
New Recruitment Trends
1. Posting Job Openings Online
- Many college seniors are actively looking for internship and job opportunities online. The Class of 2020 report shows the unique preferences of the group with regard to job searches. According to the report, college seniors are mainly using online job search tools to look for openings.
- To cast a wide net, recruiters/employers should use the various hiring platforms besides their website to sources candidates.
- Statistics show that 64% of college seniors use Google to search for jobs while another 64% use social media pages such as LinkedIn. A further 57% use company career pages and career fairs.
- Thus, recruiters/employers should aggressively post openings on such platforms to reach out to college seniors candidates.
2. Use of Phone and Video interviews
- The current pandemic has changed how employers/recruiters conduct interviews. The rising fear of catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus is making face-to-face interviews obsolete.
- Current, employers are using phone and video interviews to communicate with their prospective candidates, including college seniors. Statistics show that 89% of employers are shifting or growing their virtual interviews.
- By shifting their focus to digital, companies are targeting to make valuable connections with their prospective college seniors.
3. Being Communicative
- To reach out to college seniors, employers should be communicative. The recruiters/employers should endeavor to maintain firm relationships with candidates and keep them updated on the changes as they emerge.
- Communicating about canceled internship, adjusting paid internship to unpaid mode, or shifting to remote work is important.
- Moreover, communicating about post-coronavirus expectations to college employees is critical to helping companies retain them. Such expectations should be relayed upfront during the interview and hiring process.
4. Going Back to College
- With colleges reopening, the current college seniors are keen on going back to college for their final year prior to graduation. Considering the current job market in the US characterized by few opportunities, most seniors have not been successful in getting a job or internship opportunity.
- Thus, most are eager to attain their course credits to enable them graduate. Statistics show that only 2% of current students have plans to take time off. Further, 78% are keen on returning to their current college.
- Other studies show that college students dislike online education currently ongoing. To finish the remaining year, 85% are keen on going back to classes.
- Ryan Sessoms, a senior at the University of North Florida observes that transitioning to online classes has been not been smooth. According to him, he does not have the motivation to finish the assignments given online. Ryan is keen on going back to class physical for his last semester.
- Grace Marquis is also contemplating skipping the fall semester if the online classes continue. She reckons that going online took away the college experience she once enjoyed.
- Colleges are also offering seniors in their last semester an opportunity to enroll for part-time classes as guided by their course credits.
- The tuition is charged on per credit basis although the seniors have access to all amenities and resources in the college, including financial aid.
- The students are also addressing their financial situation by requesting for subsidized tuition fees for online classes. They argue that tuition for online classes should be less compared to physical classes.