College of Engineering

Employer Guidelines

Making an Offer

Engineering Career Services recognizes that the recruiting process involves important decisions for both students and employers, and encourages the use of fair and reasonable practices. In order to support the needs of employers and to provide students adequate time to evaluate and respond to offers, Engineering Career Services requests employers consider the following guidelines.

Best Practices

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) notes, “Experience shows the best employment decisions for both students and employers are those that are made without pressure and with the greatest amount of information. Students given sufficient time to attend career fairs, participate in on-campus interviews, and/or complete the interviewing in which they are currently engaged are more likely to make good long-term employment decisions and may be less likely to renege on job acceptances”. Engineering Career Services supports this statement and encourages all employers to make every effort to abide by NACE’s guidelines for reasonable offers.

We expect students to:

  • Not to accept an offer for employment while continuing to pursue other opportunities.
  • Not to renege or turn down a previously accepted job offer. Engineering Career Services strongly discourages students from reneging on internship, job, or co-op offers, and makes an effort to educate students about the implications of taking this step.
  • Immediately release offers they do not plan to accept in order to allow the employer the opportunity to consider another student for the position.
  • Make requests for reasonable accommodations promptly through the negotiation process.

We expect employers to:

  • Demonstrate flexibility through the negotiation process to consider reasonable requests from students.
  • Communicate hiring timelines clearly.
  • Not to place undue pressure on students to make offer decisions.
  • Uphold job offers.
  • Avoid using exploding offers or offers that are withdrawn if not accepted quickly, putting pressure on students to make a rushed decision. Employers are strongly discouraged from making offers with timing-based consequences such as diminishing bonuses, or reduced options for location preferences.
  • Not to rescind offers. If conditions change and require an employer to revoke its offer to a student, we strongly encourage the company to notify the student immediately. The employer should consider a course of action for the affected candidate that is fair and equitable. This is in accordance with the NACE’s Position Statement on Rescinded and Deferred Employment Offers.

Suggested Offer Timelines

Please abide by the following offer policies to allow our students sufficient time to carefully consider their employment options and make informed decisions.

  • Summer: Full-time or internship offers extended to students during the summer for employment that begins during the academic year should expire no earlier than Fall Reading Days.
  • Fall: Full-time and internship offers extended to students during the Fall semester should expire no earlier than November 1st or a minimum of three weeks after they are given (whichever comes later).
  • Spring: Full-time offers extended to students during the Spring semester should expire no sooner than two weeks after they are given. Internship offers should expire no earlier than the beginning of Spring Break or a minimum of two weeks after they are given (whichever comes later). View the VCU Academic Calendar for the dates of Spring Break.

These deadlines give our students sufficient time to explore their options and make as informed a decision as possible. In the end, we want you to obtain the best candidates and we want our students to have the best opportunities! In the spirit of collaboration, please inform us of any offers made and also let us know of any of our students who renege on an acceptance of an internship or full-time job offer.

NACE and Equal Employment Opportunity

In order to provide fair and equitable services to students and employers, Engineering Career Services adheres to all policies set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Specifically, employers must subscribe to the NACE Principles for Professional Practice, the Department of Labor laws and regulations, and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recruitment and employment guidelines and laws established by federal and state law. Additionally, Engineering Career Services will not knowingly assist with recruitment efforts for employers who discriminate in their selection of employees on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. Please read more about the VCU notice of nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Third Party Recruiters

Third Party Recruiters are agencies, organizations or individuals that recruit candidates for other organizations’ temporary, part time or full time employment opportunities. They may also recruit for their own organization’s internal hiring needs.

Third Party Recruiters using Engineering Career Services are expected to follow the same policies and procedures established for recruiters representing their own organization. In addition, Third Party Recruiters are expected to agree to these Third Party Recruiter policies, ensure all staff understand and comply with these policies, and ensure open and accurate communication with VCU students.

  • Recruiters seeking to use Handshake in connection with VCU College of Engineering will:
    • Agree to and follow the Handshake Terms of Service.
    • Provide complete job descriptions, clearly indicating that you are a Third Party Recruiter.
    • Not download resumes or send direct messages to students and alumni who have not applied to a specific job opening.
    • Not use candidate information, including resumes, obtained for a specific job opening for any subsequent job openings or for soliciting employer clients, except where specifically agreed to by the candidates involved.
    • State in the job description that any fees assessed by your organization and whether those are to be paid by the employer client you represent or the VCU candidate.
    • Provide name of the employer client for whom you are recruiting in the job description. If this information is confidential, you must still disclose it to Engineering Career Services staff. Names will be held in confidence and will not be released to job candidates.
    • Agree that neither you nor your employer client will provide VCU students’ resumes, or candidate information to any other party without the student’s consent. Failure to comply with this is a violation of The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act of 1974.
  • Recruiters are permitted to participate in career events and must agree to the following:
    • Disclose whether you are recruiting for your organization’s internal hiring needs or for employer clients.  If you are recruiting for employer clients, disclose the names of the employer clients to Engineering Career Services in advance (upon registration) of the career event.
    • Agree that neither you nor your employer client will provide VCU College of Engineering students’ resumes to any other party without the student’s consent. Failure to comply with this is a violation of The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act of 1974.

Right to Refuse Service

Engineering Career Services reserves the right to refuse service to employers for factors such as the following:

  • Misrepresentation by dishonesty or lack of information
  • Fraud
  • Complaints by students
  • Harassment of VCU students, alumni, or staff
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Requiring, at the time of application, personal information such as bank and social security numbers.
  • Positions not likely of interest to college students or alumni.
  • Excessive outlay of personal funding required to obtain the position.
  • Failure to adhere to Engineering Career Services policies and/or any violation of VCU rules and regulations, and local, state, or federal laws.

Virginia Commonwealth University

College of Engineering
601 West Main Street
Box 843068
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3068
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