The Future of University Recruiting

Join CodeSignal CEO Tigran Sloyan and Co-Founder Sophia Baik in Data-Drive Recruiting Episode #39 as they discuss the impact of COVID-19 on university recruiting and internships. In this episode you will learn about:

  • Don’t panic: how students can still find meaningful career development opportunities this summer
  • What coronavirus means for the Class of 2020 
  • How university recruiting teams and hiring managers can respond

With shelter-in-place orders set to continue through the summer months, many college students worry ‘Do I still have a job?’ whether that job is a full-time position upon graduation or a summer internship. In today’s episode, Sloyan and Baik offer practical tips to successfully adjust to these changing circumstances without forgoing either simulated or actual on-the-job learning and growth.

The Future of Internships

Prestigious summer internship programs have long held coveted positions on students’ resumes to increase their chances of securing a full-time offer at the same or similar brand-name firm. Yet with internship programs either cancelled (like Yelp) or moved fully remote (such as Google), students and university recruiters are forced to pivot.

All is not lost however; these unprecedented times simply offer a shift in perspective. After all, the core objective of an internship is developing new skills through a real-world application. With this learning objective in mind, students can seek out independent projects for organizations outside the traditional internship setting. 

Come up with a project that you can hone your skill sets. For example:

  • If you’re a computer scientist, build an application from scratch by yourself or even with your peers. It can be an application you’ve always wanted to build. It can be an application that facilitates the new way of life under the COVID-19. Or it can be a new feature that you wish your summer internship employer would have assigned you to work on. 
  • If you’re an aspiring data scientist, use the data on COVID-19 to help the community to flatten the curve and reopen businesses safely. You can scope out your own project or join the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge by Kaggle. Showcase your ability to wrangle a large set of data to bring out insights.

It goes the same for the university recruiting program managers. Even if you had to cancel the internship program, you can still share a list of suggested independent internship projects with your student contacts and continue to build relationships with them for the future. While you are not sponsoring for the internship program, students might still appreciate the guidance. You can also host virtual lunch-and-learn sessions for the prospective applicants during the summer.

First Job From Home

As the Class of 2020 is likely to start their careers remotely, companies can begin preparing now by re-looking at their standard onboarding. With new hires unable to turn to their colleague’s desk for a quick question, for example, they will inevitably expose gaps in the onboarding process. Now is a good time to write things down that may be less well-documented and provide additional context on existing materials.  Moreover, hiring managers can be proactive to check a new employee’s understanding of a concept and to ensure sufficient exposure, albeit virtual, to key leadership in their early days.

Looking ahead

In the next cycle of university recruiting, many applicants coming to the job market will not have glowing summer internships on their resumes. What does it mean to the students and recruiters? How do I stand out among the applicants when I don’t have a shiny internship experience on my resumes? How do I identify top talent among the sea of applicants when the signal you’ve relied on heavily is no longer there? 

  • For developers: Showcase your summer work regardless of whether or not it was a part of a formal internship program. Take a General Coding Assessment on CodeSignal for free to see how your skill level stacks up and to obtain an objective report on your coding skill level for future employers. 
  • For a recruiter: While the internship experience data points might be missing, it’s not difficult to identify qualified applicants at scale. This presents an opportunity to screen the applicant pool based on their skills instead of what’s on their resumes. Let us help you to go beyond resumes in technical hiring with our state-of-the-art assessment platform and advanced coding tests. Request a demo today.
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