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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 16, 2001

Recruiters Will Reach Into High Schools

For years, corporate recruiters have been active on college and university campuses. They schedule interviews with students who may be prospective employees, send information to be posted, filed, and distributed, and wine and dine. They compete to capture the interest of students with potential of working for their companies.

The schools are happy to have the attention of the recruiters. It's to their advantage to have their students well-placed in corporations that may contribute to the university in the future. And the better placements the graduates achieve, the easier it is for admissions officers to attract new freshmen. Colleges welcome recruiters, give them access to the students, provide space for them to conduct interviews, and serve as a clearinghouse for information.

Recruiters face an interesting challenge today: not enough college students to meet current and future demands. Competition is intense with more aggressive recruiters targeting the same students. The solution? Reach young people earlier, before the other college recruiters discover them. Recruiters will contact students before their junior and senior years, while they're still sophomores and freshmen. This effort has actually already begun, with students being contacted long before they're ready for job- hunting.

What's next? Soon we will see recruiters on high school campuses. In earnest. We forecast that both corporate and industry recruiters will become more visible in high schools all over. Corporate recruiters from international, national and regional companies will seek to reach top students with two objectives in mind: to build awareness and interest in their companies for the college recruiting experience, and second, to explore opportunities to gain early commitments from these students through internships. This practice will not be limited to the United States; recruiters will travel internationally-in person and by e-mail-to find top applicants.

Trade associations will step-up promotion of jobs in their fields to increase awareness and stimulate enrollments in post-secondary education. Some will promote high-paying careers that don't require college. As recruiting in schools becomes accepted, local employers will also come hunting for help. High schools may be overwhelmed by recruiters. Retired executives may help students evaluate opportunities.

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