This post was provided by Claudia Allen, writer and editor at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). NACE connects campus recruiting and career services professionals, and provides best practices, trends, research, professional development, and conferences.

How do employers choose the colleges and universities where they will recruit—and which criteria are connected to the highest offer rates?

Traditional brick-and-mortar schools (public and private, for-profit and nonprofit) were favored by the majority of employers.

Four-year colleges and universities continue to be the most-used target schools, used by 92 percent of recruiters responding to a national survey of recruiters by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The survey also noted that 16 percent of employers look for two-year school graduates, an increase of 4 percent since 2011.

More than half—61 percent—of employers consider an education earned at an online school—not an online program at a brick-and-mortar school—less credible than that earned at a traditional university.

Employers said the top four areas they consider extremely important in choosing target schools are:

  • Academic majors offered by the school,
  • Perceived quality of the school’s academic programs,
  • Employer’s past experience recruiting at the school, and
  • Accreditation of the school.

Less important criteria to recruiters, but connected to some of the highest offer rates were:

  • Executives being alumni of the school,
  • Helpfulness of the career services staff,
  • Salary expectations of students, and
  • School’s national rankings.

Highlights from the report are available at

Learn more benchmarks in recruiting at NACEWeb, NACE offers customized school selection reports; contact the NACE Research Team at

Join DirectEmployers at the NACE 2014 Conference & Expo, June 8-11, 2014. Details and registration are available on the event website.


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