Recruiting policies and guidelines
In our effort to maintain the integrity of recruiting at VCU, our three career centers—VCU Career Services, School of Business Career Services and College of Engineering Career Services—have developed standards for recruitment across the University. All activities must adhere to these policies in addition to VCU’s universitywide policies.
- The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) Principles for Ethical Professional Practice are the guiding principles for VCU’s career centers’ recruiting practices. All employers/organizations are expected to be familiar with these principles, and to abide by these principles and all applicable federal, state, and local Virginia rules and regulations.
- Organizations should be aware of the NACE Faculty Guide to Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Employment.
- Employment professionals will maintain equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruiting activities in a manner that includes the following practices:
- Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability, and providing reasonable accommodations upon request
- Reviewing selection criteria for adverse impact based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability
- Avoiding questions that are considered unacceptable by EEO guidelines for fair employment practices during the recruiting process
- Developing a sensitivity to, and awareness of, cultural differences and the diversity of the workforce
- Informing campus constituencies of special activities that have been developed to achieve the employer's affirmative action goals
- Investigating complaints forwarded by VCU’s career centers regarding EEO noncompliance and seeking resolution of such complaints
- Employers should maintain compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) throughout the entire recruitment process; we recommend the Job Accommodation Network (JAN)’s Employer Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation.
All recruiting activities must adhere to the following additional standards:
VCU prohibits unlawful discrimination in the workplace, academic setting or any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin (including ethnicity), age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), parenting status, marital status, political affiliation, military status (including veteran status), genetic information (including family medical history), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.
VCU & VCU Career Services promote the full realization of employment opportunities for all persons, and these efforts apply to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, hiring, promotion, and compensation. It is the responsibility of every member of the VCU community to foster an environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Third parties who violate this policy may be permanently barred from VCU facilities, services or activities or subject to other restrictions.
See the university's full policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination.
Employers who have an interest in recruiting VCU students are encouraged to use Handshake as their primary recruiting resource, regardless of their specific selection criteria. In order to ensure equal access to all students, our staff will not provide direct referrals, student recommendations, or any type of list of “top” candidates to any party, including employers, faculty, staff, etc. Employers should use Handshake to post their open positions and select their own candidates based on the specific guidelines and needs of their individual company. We encourage VCU faculty and staff to refer all employers to Handshake if they would like to recruit our students.
We request that employers coordinate on-campus recruiting events through our career centers to ensure that organizations do not host conflicting events or events that do not comply with university policies. We ask that employers be mindful of their responsibility to communicate any changes or event cancellations to us and their student attendees.
Should the university be closed for inclement weather, any recruiting event or activity being held on campus will automatically be canceled. Our staff will be available to assist with questions about rescheduling your on-campus events once the University reopens. Please be sure to alert us to any changes regarding the contact information of your recruiting personnel due to inclement weather.
Handshake Posting Policies
- Postings should be submitted to appear on Handshake for no longer than a six-month time period. The VCU career centers reserve the right to make edits to expiration dates as required.
- Organizations must not disclose any student information for any reason without obtaining prior written consent from the student. Failure to comply with this is a violation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Under no circumstances can student information be disclosed for anything other than the original recruiting purposes, nor can it be sold or provided to other entities.
- In the event that these guidelines are not met, we reserve the right to revoke access to our online recruiting platform.
- All organizations are asked to accurately describe their business within their employer profiles on Handshake.
- Organizations must accurately and adequately describe the opportunity and its qualifications and requirements within the posting.
- Staff member user accounts must list an employer-affiliated email address. Profiles and postings listed with a personal email domain (gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc.) are not allowed, unless otherwise verified.
- All organizations are required to have a phone number associated with their employer profile. Phone number(s) must be tied to a company contact and not be a generic (800) number.
- Physical address must be present and verifiable. For fully remote organizations/opportunities, the address in Handshake should match that of the organization’s business/entity license.
NACE defines third party recruiters as follows: “Third-party recruiters are agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities other than for their own needs. This includes entities that refer or recruit for profit or not for profit, and it includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and employment." Additionally, Handshake provides this additional guidance for third party recruiters.
Individuals and agencies recruiting on behalf of other organizations must comply with these additional recruiting policies:
- Any new or existing third party recruiting organization that fails to identify themselves as third party will be declined by default; contacts are encouraged to correct this information through Handshake Support.
- All representatives of organizations who participate in third party recruiting are required to identify themselves as third party recruiters, regardless of the positions they post within the system.
- All agencies/recruiters must disclose the client’s name to Career Services staff before the posting will be accepted in Handshake at VCU. The posting itself does not have to include the client’s name, and Career Services staff will not reveal your client’s identity to interested candidates.
- We highly suggest that all clients’ names be provided BEFORE submitting postings to Handshake at VCU. You must provide your organization’s name, the name(s) of the position(s), its location, and the associated client name for each by emailing: email@example.com. If positions are posted to Handshake at VCU without first providing the clients’ name, we will reach out requesting this information and provide three (3) business days for reply. If three (3) business days are exceeded, we will decline the posting(s).
All postings in Handshake at VCU must be tied directly to an individual employer. Postings from resume referral firms or independent job/internship board websites designed for the collection of resumes on behalf of a large number of employers will not be accepted into the Handshake at VCU system.
The VCU career centers support and promote experiential learning opportunities that connect classroom and workplace-based learning for the student and incorporate supervision, mentoring and feedback by an experienced professional.
Internship postings should meet the NACE definition and criteria for internships and adhere to the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These standards state that an internship should meet the following criteria:
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that allows students to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
We ask all employers posting unpaid internships to closely review the additional details provided in the links above to ensure that internships with your organization are in line with federal law. Furthermore, we encourage employers to reference the Virginia Employer Readiness Toolkit: A blueprint to develop quality internship opportunities for Virginia's talent pipeline.
Note: Per the FLSA’s Fact Sheet #71, “If analysis of these circumstances reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.” VCU’s career centers reserve the right to decline any postings for opportunities that cannot demonstrate that the student is the “primary beneficiary” of the intern-employer relationship.
All employers posting in Handshake at VCU must provide a business license number, if requested. Any position where a student will be working remotely and at a distance from the direct supervisor will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Employers may not work from home and request to hire students to work in that location.
Handshake at VCU and the career centers’ social media feeds (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) are designed to connect students to career readiness programming, internships, co-op and job opportunities. No advertising is allowed for products and services other than to draw interest to active job/internship posting(s).
Employers may not charge any "up front" fee as a contingency for employment, training and/or work placement. Absolutely no postings will be accepted if applicants must pay or purchase access for opportunities or a position that requires a potential employee to provide funds to a supervisor or other company representative for services. Donation requests, investment opportunities, items/services for sale, or opportunities requiring purchases and/or disclosure of private financial and identification information (i.e., bank accounts, Social Security Numbers) at the time of application may not be posted.
We welcome independent contract and commission-based positions; however, this detail of the position must be stated clearly in the job description. Positions offering partial commission compensation must clearly state the guaranteed base salary and estimated commission potential as separate figures in the initial posting description.
Feel free to contact students directly who apply for your opportunities. However, when contacting students by email or phone, please be certain to clearly state the organization you represent and the position you are contacting them about. Any email correspondence must come through your company/organization email account and not a personal email address. Organizations are also encouraged to leverage the student messaging options in Handshake, following these suggested messaging best practices.
No adult entertainment industry positions, escort services, presentation modeling or similar activity associated with the use of alcohol or other drugs will be accepted.
Positions related to the study and cultivation of medical marijuana with organizations licensed to operate as such within the State of Virginia will be permitted. As the use of cannabis and marijuana is illegal at the federal level, positions related to the use or distribution of recreational cannabis or medical marijuana will not be approved for posting in Handshake at VCU.
VCU’s career centers reserve the right to make exceptions to these policies and guidelines as warranted by special circumstances, i.e., in certain situations deemed to be acceptable and beneficial to our students, our offices, the university, or recruiters using our services. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that any exception made does not constitute a change in policy, nor is there a guarantee that this same decision will apply in the future.
VCU’s career centers strive for open access and connections between students and employers. However, we reserve the right to accept or deny any position or recruiting organization based upon internal criteria. We reserve the right to decline access to our recruiting platform to organizations who have been flagged in Handshake for suspicious or unprofessional activities at our fellow colleges and universities. Additionally, we may deny or remove access rights for organizations that do not meet the above standards or do not match the mission of VCU or its career centers.
Identity disclosure and illegal questions
Deciding when and how to disclose elements of one’s identity to others, especially in professional or academic settings, is a personal, nuanced, and potentially difficult choice. As a reminder, it is illegal in the United States for employers to ask candidates certain questions related to their identity. For additional guidance, along with potential questions students/alumni may ask during the interview process to evaluate your organization's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please see our Identity + Career page.