How to follow Equal Employment Law while assisting students with their job search
Student post-graduation success is important to all of us at Clark. Employers from every industry are eager to hire Clark graduates and, occasionally, potential employers will approach faculty and staff to share a job or internship opportunity, or may ask for help connecting them with qualified students. While it’s natural to want to help our students secure employment, the University must follow Equal Employment Law in all interactions with employers to avoid unanticipated illegal or unethical actions.
The Career Services office is well versed in legal issues related to recruiting and serves as the primary contact for employer relations on campus.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated, provides the following guidelines for faculty and staff in their Guide to Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Hiring:
- If you receive a request for student referrals, you may notify students who have expressed an interest in such positions and encourage them to apply. Also, you may announce the opportunity to your classes or distribute the job description via listserv. However, for your protection as well as that of the University, the initial request from the employers should be sent to Career Services so the position can be posted openly for all students.
- When you provide only a few names without also broadly publicizing the position through Career Services, you aren’t maintaining a fair and equitable recruiting process and are vulnerable to charges of discrimination. If faculty or staff pre-screen candidates, they are, in effect, acting as an employment agency and may have to justify the criteria upon which the screening was based. By law, every qualified candidate interested in the opportunity should be able to apply; it’s the employer’s responsibility to decide who is the best fit.
- The less directly involved staff and faculty are in making choices for employers, the less likely the staff and institution will be subject to administrative claims and litigation if a student believes he or she was discriminated against as a result of not being selected to interview.
- Confusion or misunderstandings may occur when an employer works with more than one campus office on the same issue and this serves to undermine the focus on generating viable employment opportunities for students.
- Career Services may have an existing relationship with the employer or the specific individual who contacted you, or may wish to expand its relationship to enhance student opportunities. By contacting Career Services, you can facilitate appropriate follow-up and help develop future prospects.
- Selecting only certain candidates to present to an employer may set unreasonable expectations for both employers and students. Employers may come to expect that every student who submits an application meets all of their qualifications. Students, in turn, may develop a sense that they will be “placed” or “matched” with a job once they graduate. These expectations are inconsistent with Career Services’ goal of teaching students to process of personal and professional exploration and development, skills they will use across their lifetime.
We appreciate your assistance in assuring an employment process that’s free from discrimination and provides equal opportunities to all qualified students.
Please contact Career Services with any questions or concerns – and, of course, any job or internship leads from employers.