Mining for Deeper Engagement
These activities should be completed collaboratively by faculty and administrators.
Using the Employer Engagement Worksheet developed in the Knowing Your Audience module, add columns for internships, job shadowing, guest speakers, mock interview participants, and mentors. Complete the grid for each employer with these categories in mind.
Referring to the completed Employer Engagement Worksheet, brainstorm ways to
- Recognize employers who are engaged in more than 5 or 7 or 10 activities. (You determine the number.) Consider creating bronze, silver, and gold levels and providing plaques showing the college’s appreciation for their engagement. Plaques could be hand-delivered and photos taken to share on your website.
- Gather testimonials (written or video) from your engaged employers and use them in marketing materials.
- Increase the involvement of those with a limited number of “Xs.” Do you tend to invite the same employers to events while overlooking others?
- Add a sponsors page to your college website. The page should include employer logos, hyperlinked to the employers’ websites.
- Implement an employer partner of the month/quarter award – surprise the employer partner with lunch, dessert, or certificate of appreciation and take photos to share on social media.
- Create an employer newsletter (monthly/quarterly) to highlight partnerships with stories, photos, and upcoming college events (i.e. career fair, day at Capitol, etc.)
Consider your college’s career fairs. Do they need a refresh? Perhaps a sector approach rather than an all-industry approach would increase employer participation since the employers would only see students who are interested in and trained for their sectors. Gather a college-wide team that engages with employers in some capacity and plan career fairs together using contacts from the foundation, customized training, and other departments.
Analyze your college’s graduate job placement data to determine who is hiring your employees. Note: You may have recorded this information on the Employer Engagement Worksheet in the Knowing Your Audience module. If not, now is the time to add that data. Note specifically the employers who have NOT hired your grads. Consider holding a focus group with just those employers to learn why.
Form a college-wide Employer Partnership Committee to build a cohesive approach to employer engagement. Include representatives from CTE programs, career centers, college foundation, non-credit workforce training, and beyond.
- Increased enrollment
- Increased graduate placement
- Deeper employer engagement (e.g., employers assist with recruitment and marketing)