Please note that in accordance with the university's updated COVID-19 response, we will only be offering virtual recruiting events for the Fall 2020 semester. No on-campus recruiting events will be facilitated.
On This Page:

Instructions

Holding an on-campus recruiting event builds your brand at JMU and allows students to learn more about your opportunities and company culture. Make your request to hold a recruiting event in Handshake!

Types of events include Information Table, Information Session, Workshop, and other relevant options. View the Handshake Employer Help Center’s Events & Career Fairs section for instructions on How to Request an Event at a School and more.



Best Practices

Our team is available to support you as you plan, request, and host both your on-campus and virtual recruiting events. Please consider the below best practices when planning your event(s). 

Virtual Considerations

While these suggestions are specific to virtual events, be sure to also review the remainder of the best practices below that are relevant for planning both on-campus and virtual events. 

  • Involve at least two representatives in your virtual session; one to host and present content another to monitor the chat for questions.
  • Increase engagement by asking students to submit questions through the chat functionality of your video platform throughout the event and answering them at the end.
  • As you message RSVP’s event reminders, provide information on how to turn on captioning for your preferred platform when possible. 
  • Provide information on how to dial in via phone as well as via computer. 
  • We highly recommend recording your presentation. After your event, you can then message your attendees and RSVP’s with the recording and any hyperlinked calls to action, including a point of contact for questions.
  • Events with more educational components see better student turnout. Consider incorporating educational content that is particularly relevant in an increasingly online environment post-COVID.
    • Share tips for virtual recruiting etiquette from your perspective as an employer.
    • Discuss what makes applications stand out during this time. 
    • If relevant to your open positions, discuss how applicants can articulate their ability to successfully manage remote work.

Scheduling

  • Tuesday’s and Thursday’s tend to see higher student engagement; avoid Friday’s whenever possible. 
  • Aim for late afternoons and early evenings to host your event, such as between 3pm and 6pm. 
  • As fall class schedules have been impacted by COVID, courses run later in the day; if possible, consider later start times. 
  • JMU will have designated COVID cleaning periods 4pm-5pm, which is a time frame your virtual event would not conflict with classes.
  • Review JMU’s Academic Calendar, as events are not as well attended over holiday breaks or when conflicting with other events.
  • Request your event in Handshake as early as possible to maximize time to promote your event and increase student awareness.

Time

  • To increase engagement, your event should be no longer than one hour. Present for a max of 45 minutes, and leave 10-15 minutes for questions and conversation. 

Logistics

  • Encourage students to RSVP to your event through Handshake. This allows you to send event reminders (include a point of contact for event questions and accessibility questions). 
  • Involve at least two representatives in your session; one to host and present content another to field questions or handle technology considerations.
  • When possible, consider offering incentives for participation (gift cards, a drawing from all who attended, etc.).
  • Submit your promotion request as early as possible once your event request has been approved in Handshake.

Accessibility

  • As you message RSVP’s event reminders, provide a point of contact for questions about accessibility with your event; include a clear deadline that students should reach out to ensure reasonable attempts at accommodation can be made (such as 2 business days).
  • Use clear language, large fonts, and high color contrast for presentation slides.
  • Provide captions in presentations if possible, and provide descriptions where possible for visuals such as infographics.

Event Content

  • Keep your events authentic rather than scripted; students prefer to hear from current employees in a personalized, casual format.
  • Our students are value-driven during their job search. Consider discussing your company's diversity goals, EEOC statement, or how their team defines the value of diversity in the workplace. Consider the question to questions like, “How does my company work to hire and retain a diverse staff?”
  • If you’re presenting, consider including your pronouns during the intro to virtual events, but do not ask students for theirs if they don’t offer this information themselves.
  • In the description of your event request, highlight what attendees will learn or take away from participation. A generic description such as “Join us to learn more about opportunities with [your company]” is less compelling than “Join [your company] to discuss our workplace culture, our upcoming opportunities, and strategies to stand out to recruiters in a virtual interview setting.”
  • Events with more educational components see better student turnout. 
  • Consider hybrid events to keep things engaging. After discussing your company’s culture, values, and opportunities, follow with an educational component. Ex. utilize breakout rooms for 1:1 or group session resume reviews or informal discussions. Other educational topics could include:
    • Share tips for virtual recruiting etiquette from your perspective as an employer
    • Offer tips for what stands out positively to you as a recruiter receiving applications during this time
    • Tips for evaluating offers
    • The chance to practice networking in a casual virtual environment

Event Follow Up

  • Send a message to all attendees—with a link to your event recording if you have one—and include any hyperlinked calls to action, including a point of contact for questions.
  • Send a separate message to those who RSVP’d in Handshake but did not attend your session, acknowledging that you missed them at the event and providing your event recording and hyperlinked calls to action.
  • Note there is typically a dropoff between the number of students who RSVP and who attend day-of; it’s best to still share the recording link with any students who did not attend. 
  • This makes it easier for students who have hybrid coursework conflicts, and international students can watch at a time that makes more sense from them based on their current time zone. 
  • Those who didn’t attend likely had a conflict; and their lack of attendance for a synchronous event after RSVPing doesn’t necessarily indicate a loss of interest in your company.

Event Location

Please use the campus map to locate the facility in which you would prefer your recruiting event will be held. We will make arrangements to secure a location based on the information submitted on your request and provide you with details as soon as your confirmation is received concerning space reservation on campus from our Events and Conferences office.

Virtual Events

If you would like to host a virtual event, you can do so by submitting a virtual event request through Handshake, providing the link for students to join the event, and then hosting your event through your chosen software. Virtual events are a great way to provide information and connect with students when you’re unable to make it to campus, and ensuring you’ve submitted it through Handshake increases our ability to promote your event to students. 

Review Handshake's guide to Hosting Virtual Events for additional instructions.

What software do we recommend?

Our Employer Services team recommends using either Zoom or WebEx to conduct your virtual events; both platforms are easy-to-use, offer secure meetings, and collaborate with many types of devices. We recommend tailoring which software you use based on your plans to either solely present information virtually or to include attendee participation throughout. 

If your organization already uses a standard virtual meeting software, you are welcome to use your own software of choice, including the link in your Handshake event listing. We do recommend avoiding a platform that requires each student attendee to create their own account to attend. 

If you have any questions or need a recommendation for setting up your virtual event, you may contact us at handshake@jmu.edu

Office Hours

Office hours offer employers an opportunity to meet more informally with students in our Interview Center to discuss career opportunities, offer informal resume reviews and job search advice, and more. Office hours often work best in conjunction with holding other recruiting events, and before holding on-campus interviews; to hold office hours in our Interview Center, please submit a request.

Catering

JMU contracts exclusively with Aramark to provide catering and dining services on campus. If you would like to order refreshments, please contact the Special Events office at 540-568-6637 or catering@jmu.edu at least one week in advanceRefreshments from vendors other than JMU Dining Services and Aramark are not permitted at your event.

Logistics and Parking

Parking arrangements vary across campus. Our staff will reach out two weeks prior to your on-campus recruiting event to prepare you for your visit. Please email us at handshake@jmu.edu with any questions regarding logistics.

Hotels & Lodging

Questions

If you have questions regarding your parking arrangements prior to your visit, please email handshake@jmu.edu and our staff will be happy to assist you. Requests placed with Parking Services should be made at least 10 days in advance.

Back to Top