Center for Career Development

Professional Principles

The Center for Career Development and employment professionals are involved in an important process -- helping students choose and attain personally rewarding careers and helping employers develop effective college relations programs. This process requires commitment by practitioners to principles for professional practice.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), as the national professional association to facilitate the employment of the college educated, developed the Principles for Professional Practice. The principles presented here are designed to provide practitioners with three basic precepts for career planning and recruitment:

  • Maintain an open and free selection of employment and experiential learning opportunities in an atmosphere conducive to objective thought, where job candidates can choose to optimize their talents and meet their personal objectives;
  • Maintain a recruitment process that is fair and equitable;
  • Support informed and responsible decision making by candidates.
  1. Employment professionals will refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects acceptances. Such practices may include undue time pressure for acceptance of offers and encouragement of revocation of another offer. Employment professionals will strive to communicate decisions to candidates within the agreed-upon time frame.
  2. Employment professionals will have knowledge of the recruitment and career development field as well as the industry and the employing organization that they represent, and work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing, and selection techniques.
  3. Employment professionals will provide accurate information on their organization and employment opportunities. Employing organizations are responsible for information supplied and commitments made by their representatives. If conditions change and require the employing organization to revoke its commitment, the employing organization will pursue a course of action for the affected candidate that is fair and equitable.
  4. Neither employment professionals nor their organizations will expect, or seek to extract, special favors or treatment which would influence the recruitment process as a result of support, or the level of support, to the educational institution or career services office in the form of contributed services, gifts, or other financial support.
  5. Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process on or off campus. This includes receptions, dinners, company tours, etc.
  6. Employment professionals will maintain equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruiting activities in a manner that includes the following:
    a) 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; b) Reviewing selection criteria for adverse impact based upon the student's race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability; c) Avoiding questions that are considered unacceptable by EEO guidelines for fair employment practices during the recruiting process; d) Developing a sensitivity to, and awareness of, cultural differences and the diversity of the work force; e) Informing campus constituencies of special activities that have been developed to achieve the employer's affirmative action goals; f) Investigating complaints forwarded by the career services office regarding EEO noncompliance and seeking resolution of such complaints.
  7. Employment professionals will maintain the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including personal knowledge, written records/reports, and computer data bases. There will be no disclosure of student information to another organization without the prior written consent of the student, unless necessitated by health and/or safety considerations.
  8. Those engaged in administering, evaluating, and interpreting assessment tools, employment screening tests, and technology used in selection will be trained and qualified to do so. Employment professionals must advise the career services office of any test/assessment conducted on campus and eliminate such a test/assessment if it violates campus policies or fair employment practices. Employment professionals must advise students in a timely fashion of the type and purpose of any test that students will be required to take as part of the recruitment process and to whom the results will be disclosed. All tests/assessments will be reviewed by the employing organization for disparate impact and position-relatedness.
  9. When using organizations that provide recruiting services for a fee, employment professionals will respond to inquiries by the career services office regarding this relationship and the positions the organization was contracted to fill. This principle applies equally to any other form of recruiting that is used as a substitute for the traditional employer/student interaction. These principles apply to organizations providing such services.
  10. When employment professionals conduct recruitment activities through student associations or academic departments, such activities will be conducted in accordance with the policies of the career services office.
  11. Employment professionals will cooperate with the policies and procedures of the career services office, including certification of EEO compliance as well as compliance with all federal and state employment regulations.
  12. Employment professionals will only post opportunities that require college-educated candidates, in a manner that includes the following:
    a) All postings should adhere to EEO compliance standards; b) Job postings should be suitable and appropriate for candidates from the target institution; c) Internship postings should meet the NACE definition and criteria for internships.
  13. Employment professionals will honor scheduling arrangements and recruitment commitments.
  14. Employment professionals recruiting for international operations will do so according to EEO and U.S. labor law standards. Employment professionals will advise the career services office and students of the realities of working in the foreign country and of any cultural or employment law differences.
  15. Employment professionals will educate and encourage acceptance of these principles throughout their employing institution and by third parties representing their employing organization on campus, and will respond to reports of noncompliance.

The Board of Directors
The National Association of Colleges and Employers
(Revised January 2012) abridged


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