Subject:                                       Career Services eNews - The Impact of Recession on Recruiting


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Dec. 5, 2008


The Impact of Recession on Recruiting


It’s official. The United States is in a recession. The news media has been covering every angle since the housing market began to slump and companies started needing bailouts. We know that many students have questions about how the economy is going to affect their ability to get a full-time job, internship or co-op position. We’ve put this special eNewsletter together to try and answer some questions, give some advice, and let you know where hiring is at right now. Please feel free to stop by and chat with us at any time. Our door is always open.


In addition to this special eNewsletter, parents and families who signed up for our Parent & Family Newsletter have also received communication from us this week including our quarterly Message from the Director. We encourage you to read that message as well.


What are Companies Doing Right Now?

We have been asked by students and companies alike what we are seeing in terms of hiring trends in light of recent economic issues. As of the writing of this eNewsletter, we still see company recruiting continuing with many of our long-standing companies, and with our new companies as well. There are some companies who have imposed a hiring freeze and some companies who are putting hiring on hold until the New Year so they can make appropriate plans for their situation, while many others are moving ahead with their usual recruiting strategies. So basically, it is all over the board. But the one thing that we can tell you is that there are still opportunities out there, just not as many. We are still posting new job opportunities for full-time, intern and co-op positions into eRecruiting almost every day. On-campus interviews and information sessions are still being scheduled and we have our Winter Career Fair coming up on January 28th. It is important that you take advantage of every opportunity and apply for the jobs we are posting so that companies will continue to turn to us to find talent when they do have hiring needs.


What is a Hiring Freeze?

A hiring freeze is just that. It is a cautionary measure taken by some companies to slow down (and in some cases stop) hiring for a while in order to get a better overall picture of their needs and the impact of the market as a whole. This does not mean the company is going to be shutting their doors and going out of business. It simply means that they have chosen to be cautious about bringing extra personnel on board until they have a clearer sense as to the direction of the economy. You may hear that some companies are on a hiring freeze when in fact they are still hiring new college graduates. Some companies apply their hiring freeze at mid-level professional positions while still bringing in some new graduates. The best thing for you to do is to continue to network with companies regardless of their hiring status, because a hiring freeze can be lifted just as quickly as it can be imposed.


Should You Be Worried About Not Having an Offer?

No. We often hear from seniors that they worry they will not get a job if they do not have an offer by the end of December. Even in recruiting seasons where hiring is plentiful, half of our seniors generally do not accept permanent employment until after the start of the New Year. So do not be concerned if you do not have an offer on the table yet. What should be of concern is the amount of time you have dedicated to your search. If you have not taken any steps toward finding work, then you need to think about your plan. Now.


Think Before You Decline

Unless you know that the job offer you have on the table is from a company that you do not want to work for, or is the type of work you would not be happy doing, do not be too hasty about declining offers. We are not advocating that you take the first offer you get, but as the year progresses and companies begin to get a clearer picture about the economic health of their companies, the offers for jobs will become less plentiful. Do not base your search on what you have seen in previous years. Seriously consider all offers that you have on the table now. The grass may not be greener on the other side!


Don’t Shy Away From Co-ops & Internships

We’ve heard that some students may also have concerns about taking internships and co-ops with companies that are on a full-time hiring freeze. They worry that their own offer may be rescinded at some point, or that they won’t be considered for full-time work in the future. Very few offers are rescinded in any given year. We won’t say that it never happens, because on occasion it does. But that should not be your main concern.  You should also not be overly concerned with their full-time hiring plans. Companies that are not hiring full-time folks from outside their organization may still consider candidates who have previously worked for them: their interns. And just because a company is not hiring now, that does not mean they won’t be hiring again by the time you graduate. One possible benefit to intern and co-op candidates is that some companies will actually increase intern hiring when they can’t hire for full-time positions.


Job Searching in a Recession

We know that watching the evening news and listening to the economic speculation can cause concern for seniors looking for full-time work and underclassmen looking for internships and co-ops. Here are some tips that will be helpful as you conduct your search:

·            Do not wait to start your search. It is important that you do not wait until the end of the school year to begin looking. Many companies are still hiring now, and it is uncertain what their plans may be as the year progresses, so start your search early.

·            Make a plan of action. It is important that you get a system in place for yourself and that you stick to it. We suggest that you pick one day a week and log into eRecruiting to check all the jobs on the calendar for the following week. Apply for all that are of interest. If you have visited with us to get company contacts, also plan time each week to send networking emails or do your follow up. Finding a job is something you should dedicate consistent effort to.

·            Network. Network. Network. Take advantage of every opportunity. Go to Information Sessions, attend the Career Fairs, talk with professors, visit Career Services, and use every available connection that you have. Finding a job isn’t always just what you know, but often who you know!

·            Use eRecruiting and apply for everything of interest. There are many job opportunities that we post that close with 2 or 3 applicants, and sometimes no applicants at all! When students realize how many things are posted into eRecruiting, it can make their search a lot easier.

·            Follow Up. This is key. In order to keep yourself on a company’s radar in a time of uncertain hiring, you need to stand out. Whenever you meet with a company rep, get their business card and follow up with them periodically. If you have not heard back from a company after an interview, follow up. If you meet them at the career fair, follow up. Don’t let a chance to express your interest in a company or position pass you by.

·            Be Cautious About Negotiating. We aren’t telling you not to negotiate an offer, but if you do decide to try and negotiate with a company during tough economic times, you need to be prepared to present very compelling reasons why you think they should give you more than what they offered you. Likewise, you may want to be cautious when asking for extensions on making your decision. Please come and visit with us if you think you want to negotiate an offer. 


Located in the Hulman Memorial Union,  812-877-8212