Connecting graduates and employers: the main trends


For more than a decade, Andy Chan, vice president of innovation and career development at Wake Forest University, has studied the career landscape. Under his leadership, Wake Forest became the national model for creating a college-to-career community designed to prepare students to live lives that matter, not just get a first job after graduation. .

Chan can explain how employee contributions to today’s corporate culture differ from those of the 20th century and the best skills employers are looking for in both established companies and start-ups. In this Q&A, he answers questions about what’s new in the way students and employers connect.

What are the top three trends to help students and employers match?

  • While they were needed during the pandemic, it turned out virtual recruitment is effective and attractive to both employers and students. An unexpected benefit of virtual recruiting is the increased interest of students in smaller, lesser-known companies. Employers of all sizes are looking for employees who can collaborate, innovate and lead. Small businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and startups are more likely to be agile and able to provide new graduates with ways to develop their skills in various fields. In addition, virtual recruiting provides greater accessibility for students from under-represented backgrounds to be more comfortable and confident in engaging in recruiting activities, events and building relationships through informational and networking conversations.
  • Organizations from all sectors are showing interest and willingness to create more diverse workplaces and harness talent earlier in the recruiting calendar. Senior graduates and potential employers discuss how an organization’s leadership supports the professional development of under-represented employees, how implicit biases are addressed, and the leadership’s genuine commitment to a culture of inclusion. More and more students are asking questions about corporate culture to increase the likelihood that there is a value alignment and that the workplace experience is positive.
  • Virtual internships also help students learn more about how their skills and interests will manifest in the workplace. Teleworking has opened the doors to remote internships. Students can gain work experience in companies around the world. By working virtually, the location of the internship experience is no longer tied to increased travel or living expenses, which has opened up opportunities for students of all backgrounds.

What’s next in to improve college-to-career experiences for students?

With new features provided by recruiting platforms like Handshake, guidance services offices can measure student engagement, learning and outcomes more accurately than ever. With this information, less engaged students can be identified at any point in their educational process. Data tracking and analysis capabilities will enable colleges and universities to ensure that each of their students is career-ready and achieving desirable career outcomes.

In addition, new technologies and services are available today that will allow colleges and universities to provide essential professional training, assessments, resume and interview preparation, networking, mentoring and coaching. advice at a much lower cost than having to design, build, maintain and upgrade on your own. The chapter on shared services for career guidance services is about to take off.