8 ways COVID has changed campus career recruiting

74% of business leaders surveyed believe the quality of online education is improving as a result of COVID
By: | August 13, 2020
Though campus career recruiting has slowed during COVID, 49% of business leaders surveyed online learning is now "better than" or "equal to" a traditional, on-campus college education. (GettyImages/fotosipsak)Though campus career recruiting has slowed during COVID, 49% of business leaders surveyed online learning is now "better than" or "equal to" a traditional, on-campus college education. (GettyImages/fotosipsak)

More than half of business leaders say they have slowed recruiting on college campuses since the COVID outbreak this spring, according to a survey released Thursday.

Nearly two-thirds of the more than 930 business leaders surveyed said that they had slowed or halted campus recruitment activities, according to BestColleges.

Less than 20% of those leaders described their hiring practices as unchanged while 25% reported a shift toward targetting graduates of certain academic majors since the COVID pandemic began.

“It’s even changing the way companies hire,” said Melissa Venable, Ph.D., an online education advisor at BestColleges. “As a consequence of canceled career fairs and information sessions, businesses are having to alter their recruiting practices with increased reliance on virtual interviews, for example.”


More from UB: Closing the ‘opportunity gap.’


COVID is changing—and improving—employers’ views of online learning in several ways:

  • 74% of business leaders who recruit college graduates believe the quality of online education is improving as a result of COVID-19.
  • 49% of respondents said online college education is “better than” or “equal to” traditional on-campus education.
  • 50% of business leaders actively recruit students who earned degrees online.
  • 71% screen applicants to identify those who earn their degrees online or those who graduated from an in-person programs
  • 58% who say online instruction is “better than” or “equal to” on-campus education maintain these screening practices.

“While it’s difficult to say for sure, the massive shift to remote work may underscore the importance and potential of online learning,” Venable said. “While improved perceptions of online education may benefit students in the long-run, slowed hiring remains the foremost concern.”


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