Recruiting event hero.jpg

Employers Are Rethinking Recruitment Events and Internships

Organizations are moving talent acquisition activities online in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home mandates in most major metropolitan areas. 

Employers are transitioning their typical face-to-face recruiting efforts, to include college recruiting, to virtual experiences according to the results of a new survey from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) of talent acquisition professionals.  

The new survey found that in addition to other measures, 71% of respondents reported that their organizations have moved all recruitment events to 100% virtual.  

Specific to efforts to woo soon-to-be college graduates, employers have temporarily placed college campus recruiting on hold (32%), or cancelled college campus recruiting events altogether (23%). Some noted that they are in the process of redesigning their university recruiting hiring and related activities for a virtual space. 

This time of year, college students are typically preparing to embark on important internships that could affect their early career decisions—these corporate programs are also facing challenges. Employers are taking steps such as placing holds on new incoming interns (23%) or are redesigning for virtual versions (16%) of their internship programs.  

As one talent acquisition professional observed: “We think we might be able to make the first half of our internships virtual and still be effective and hopefully have them onsite for the second half—that’s really when the all-important social connections typically happen.”  

Some organizations are also considering extending the internships of select students currently placed in their organizations as a potential strategy: “That’s on the table for discussion right now,” said one senior executive.

What actions has your organization taken regarding recruitment/talent acquisition activities?

Other Recruitment Actions

Only 3% of survey respondents reported that talent acquisition team members are currently being redeployed to other areas of HR or the business to support the organization’s needs. Such activities can include staffing employee assistance hotlines, supporting offboarding of employees, working critical openings, and helping with virtual onboarding. But 17% said that they are currently discussing redeployment of recruiters.  

Other findings

While only 9% of survey respondents said that their organizations have prepared specific scripts for recruiters to use in discussions with candidates who ask about COVID-19 diagnoses within the company, 32% have both created the scripts as well as training on how to address the pandemic in recruitment conversations, while 21% have not addressed this potential issue with their talent acquisition teams.

Download the full survey results—due to the current global health and productivity crisis affecting everyone, i4cp is making all related ongoing research publicly available.

We also encourage you to visit for other employer resources including discussion forums, next practices, useful resources, and more.

Lorrie Lykins
Lorrie is i4cp's Vice President of Research. A thought leader, speaker, and researcher on the topic of gender equity, Lorrie has decades of experience in human capital research. Lorrie’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other renowned publications.