Early fall semester is often best, but there are timing differences based on industry, employer size and the type of position you are seeking. Each company develops its own recruiting strategy and timing, so if there are companies that interest you, in addition to considering the company size and industry area, research or contact each company to learn about their specific hiring timelines.
- Full-time and internship timelines
- Hiring based on company size
- What are industry area norms?
Full-time and internship timelines
Full-time positions: The fall semester is a very busy time for full-time recruitment. It may feel early to start your search in September, but this is the timeframe when employers are actively posting positions and recruiting new hires.
Internships: Intern recruitment occurs throughout the academic year. Larger companies and industries with earlier recruitment calendars (accounting, finance, information technology) recruit heavily during the fall semester.
Hiring based on company size
Want to work for a large company*? Start your search in the fall semester (or earlier).
On a per-company basis, large organizations often recruit larger numbers of new hires. Knowing they need 10, 20, 30 or more new employees in a given role, these organizations are often active on Handshake and with on-campus interviews in the fall semester. Large organizations will continue to recruit into the spring semester as positions remain available or as new roles become available.
*Large companies are defined as those employing more than 4,000 staff (Source: Trends in Recruiting 2009-2010).
Smaller or medium-sized companies* tend to have more individualized recruiting schedules. Recruitment will occur according to industry norms. In addition, these organizations will recruit students throughout the year as positions become available. Checking Handshake and company websites frequently and proactively contacting these companies are effective strategies.
*Small and fast growth companies typically employ 101-500 and 9-100 employees respectively. Medium sized companies are defined as those employing 500-3,999 staff (Source: Trends in Recruiting 2009-2010).