After more than three decades of wandering through the wilderness of American universities with little direction and even less insight, campus recruiting professionals now have access to a field guide of sorts.
By Jill Cueni-Cohen
Thanks to the Bethlehem, Pa.-based National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies and organizations now have a clear framework and expert advice when establishing or strengthening their university relations and recruiting programs.
Unveiled for the first time at NACE’s annual conference in June, the Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting were designed through the NACE Foundation in a collaborative effort by NACE employer members to help smooth the way for university recruiting professionals. According to NACE Executive Director Marilyn Mackes, “organizations that are engaged or want to engage in university recruiting will now have clear direction for achieving results.”
The standards are available to view here.
In July 2012, approximately 40 recruitment experts from companies large and small began working on the new set of standards with the mission of helping HR recruiters be moreeffective in their university relations and recruiting practices.
“This was a long time in coming,” says Dan Black, director of Americas recruiting at New York-based Ernst & Young and president of NACE’S board of directors. Black worked on the standards and says it has been nearly 40 years since recruiters had any kind of formal guidance in place.
“Creating the standards was a much-needed starting point, and there was a big mountain to climb, because we basically had nothing,” he says.
Black credits the group’s success to bringing outside consultant Jeff Goodman in to lead the project. “As an extension of NACE, he enlisted the help of dozens of practitioners, each to work on a specific high level of expertise,” says Black. “To be able to offer up to our membership and beyond this amalgam of great leadership by people who are known and respected; that makes it a uniquely useful product.”
Currently the principal of Campus Strategic Partners, in Dallas, Goodman calls the process of creating the standards a really “daunting task,” noting that the original standards had been written in 1976. “They had been typed on a typewriter,” he says, “but what’s struck me is that everything written back then still rings true today. Yes, there is so much more detail that needed to be conducted, and that was what I set out to do.”