As a part of the Career Center’s grant-funded initiative to educate campus about recruitment and industry trends, we recently hosted an event for faculty and staff with a panel of 6 employers (Cisco, Blach Construction, Stryker, Accenture, GAP, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health) who target SCU students for recruitment. 50% of these employers frequently recruit for all majors. 50% were SCU alumni – an unintentional outcome of our alumni who move into recruiting positions in the valley. And 100% were recruiters within approximately 10 years of graduation – this age range being a common trend with recruiters.
Some common themes arose for why these employers continue to target SCU grads: values fit between SCU & the organization, well-rounded grads with soft skills (communication, leadership, team work, problem-solving, etc.), strong blend of academics with professional experiences such as internships, local talent, and strong alumni network already within the company.
Every year employers re-visit their list of “target schools” across the nation based on their current recruitment needs. Employers look for a match between a University’s academics and the skills needed to meet market trends. For example, Cisco expressed interest in collaboration with faculty to ensure students’ skill sets are meeting industry trends. Target schools are also identified based on the University’s support for customized recruitment. If a company is looking for civil engineers the employer wants support from faculty and the Career Center to reach that population. Employers also appreciate campuses who have Career Centers that are easy to work with and where they get the greatest ROI. For example, Stryker looks for schools that have both strong business and engineering programs so that they can recruit for multiple positions.
Employers agreed that recent grads demonstrate some common traits in the workplace. They tend to be ambitious, picky about opportunities within a strong economy in the valley, interested in work/life balance as well as culture fit within the organization, expect promotions quickly, and express a need for frequent feedback. Employers also agreed that they would like to see more recent grads who are adept at business writing and presenting and who are open to making and learning from mistakes.