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Recruiting Guidelines

  • Student Hiring Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Staff

    The The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business wants all of our students to be gainfully employed upon graduation. Faculty and staff are critical to assisting students and employers with job placements. While helping our students and employers, we must understand the legal and ethical implications that factor into our interactions with them. To ensure we provide students and employers with the highest quality recruiting experience, we acknowledge and abide by the six essential principles set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Please consider these principles when working with employers and students for employment-related endeavors.

    All candidates should have equal access to open and free employment opportunities consistent with their personal objectives and the optimum use of their talents. Therefore:


    An employer contacted me seeking my "top" students and asked that I send the company/organization a list of these students. Can I refer my top students to them?
    In compliance with the principles stated above, University employees should first refer the employer to the Office of Career and Global Engagement, which will assist the employer with posting the position on ClemsonJobLink (CJL), the University's online job board. Posting the job on CJL allows all students equal access to the opportunity. Once the position is posted on CJL, you can discuss the opportunity with students you believe qualified and encourage them to apply; however, you cannot provide names of "top" students to employers.

    I was contacted by a recruiter and asked to announce an open position in my class. I want to help my students find the best jobs, and this employer greatly supports the University. Is making an announcement or forwarding the Email ok?
    Yes, after the job has been posted on ClemsonJobLink! Legal and ethical issues are involved with sharing an opportunity with a select group of students. The University can avoid liability by posting the job on ClemsonJobLink for all to see.

    I have a student in my class that would be an excellent fit for an employer with whom I work closely. Can I refer the student to the employer?
    You should never refer a student to an employer without obtaining the student's permission via the Student Reference Request and FERPA Release Form. In addition, you should obtain the employer's permission. Once all permissions are obtained, contact information for the employer can be given to the student and the onus should be placed on the student to connect with the employer.

    A student asked that I be a reference for them. They are a top-notch student, and I want to assist them by writing a letter of recommendation. What does this entail?
    First, you should have the student complete the Student Reference Request and FERPA Release Form granting permission to provide written and/or oral communication as a reference. Once obtained, you can offer factual information as a reference for the student. View additional guidelines for reference letters.

    What's the big deal about providing student names to employers?
    While it is permissible for University employees to occasionally offer names of students to employers (with prior permission and when the opportunity is posted for all to see), when done regularly, it can be seen as acting as an employment agency which could be viewed as a violation of EEO regulations.

    An employer called me and stated that I was listed as a reference for a student and asked if I could answer some questions for them. Can I provide details to the employer?
    Yes, if the student has completed the Student Reference Request and FERPA Release Form permitting you to do so. If they have not, let the employer know that you cannot provide the information at that time but will have the student complete the necessary release so that you can speak with them about the student.

  • Reference/Recommendation Letter Guidelines

    Faculty and staff members are often asked to be a reference for a student or write a letter of recommendation. Requests vary but typically are focused on evaluating a student's work in class or their performance at a job. Whatever the case, when providing a verbal or written recommendation, it is important to remember specific guidelines that will protect you and the student.

    FERPA addresses the issue of Consent to Disclosure here, stating that "a faculty member should have a student sign a release before providing a job reference or a reference for the student for certain academic purposes, such as scholarships or awards."

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) created specific tips and guidelines for writing references and referrals, and CBBS agrees with the suggestions. This guide sheet highlights many of these tips, but a complete list and supplemental article can be found at

    By following these general guidelines for references/recommendations, faculty and staff members will be more likely to provide solid and ethically sound recommendations for their students. For additional assistance, please contact the Office of Career and Global Engagement in Chandler L. Burns Hall or call 864-656-2478.

    Reference Suggestions:

    Ethical Considerations:

    Sample Reference Letter:

    (This sample may be adapted.)

    Dear [Name of Graduate School/Awards Committee/Employer]:

    This reference letter is provided at the written request of [name of student], who has asked me to serve as a reference on [his/her] behalf. I understand that [name of student] is being considered by your organization for [academic program/award/job title]. Please be advised that the information contained in this letter is confidential and should be treated as such. The information should not be disclosed to [name of student, if student has waived access] or anyone in your organization who would not be involved in the hiring decision regarding this
    individual. Additionally, the information should not be disclosed to anyone outside of your organization without the student's consent.

    I have known [name of student] for the past [number of months, semesters, years] as [he/she] has taken the following courses which I teach: [list courses, give brief description of content of course]. As [his/her] professor, I have had an opportunity to observe the student's participation and interaction in class and to evaluate the student's knowledge of the subject matter. I would rate the student's overall performance in these subjects as [below average, average, above average]. This is evidenced by [his/her] grades - [state the grades].

    [One or two specific examples of the student's performance may be appropriate.] As part of [his/her] grade in [name of course], the student was required to prepare a paper. The paper was designed to measure the student's ability to research, analyze the research results, and write. [Discuss how the paper submitted by the student indicated to you the student's skills in these areas.] Based upon this, I rate the student's skills [indicate rating].

    [It may be appropriate to give specific examples about the student's area of expertise.]

    Based upon the student's academic performance and my understanding of the [academic program/award/job title] for which the student is applying, I believe the student would perform [place overall evaluation here].

    If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me.



    Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

  • Know Your Rights About Unpaid Internships With For-Profit Companies

    Did you know that many unpaid internships violate the law and that students in unpaid internships give up many of their rights without even knowing it?

    What's the Big Deal?
    You need the experience and in a still-sluggish economy, students often feel they NEED to take an unpaid internship to get a foot in the door. Within the past few years, several lawsuits have been filed by unpaid interns against employers - both for violating Department of Labor regulations and for discrimination. Students must do their research before accepting an unpaid internship and know their rights in the event
    those rights are violated while interning.

    Department Of Labor Guidelines
    The U.S. Department of Labor has established strict guidelines for employers hosting interns in the for-profit sector.

    When a for-profit employer hires an unpaid intern, all six of the following criteria must be met:

    Source: U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71

    It is hard to imagine that an employer would not derive some sort of advantage from an intern's work, and that is the piece of the test that typically is not met. Therefore, most interns must be paid.

    Worker's Compensation
    When an employee is injured on the job, the company's Worker's Compensation plan will pay for related healthcare bills, loss of pay, etc. However, if an unpaid intern were to get hurt on the job, the company would not be required to pay any damages to the unpaid intern since they do not meet the official definition of an employee. Legally, to be considered "an employee," the person must receive compensation.

    Discrimination and Harassment
    In addition to not being covered under Worker's Compensation plans, unpaid interns are not covered under Title VII, which protects against discrimination and harassment. Let's say an intern's supervisor makes unwanted sexual advances toward her. Can she sue for sexual harassment? Not unless she is an employee - which, by definition, requires that she receive compensation. The same holds true for racial discrimination
    and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Moral Issue - Class Disparity
    From a moral perspective, many people find unpaid internships to cause disparity among students from different socio-economic groups. Consider Student A, who is from a wealthy upper-class family and Student B, who is from a rural middle-income family. They both have a GPA over 3.0 and both are offered an internship with their dream company - the internship is unpaid. Student A can afford to take the unpaid internship
    because Student A's parents can assist with any expenses over the summer and during the academic year. Student B has to turn down the internship because Student B has to work to save money for living expenses for the upcoming year. This situation leads to Student A gaining more experience and, in theory, obtaining a better job upon graduation.

    Bottom Line
    If you want to ensure you have rights at the internship workplace, be certain the internship is PAID. You are paying for the course with your tuition dollars. When a company offers credit as compensation, they expect you to pay to work for them.

    What Should I Do?
    Be certain to have some written agreement with your employer. The agreement will protect both YOU and the employer. The agreement should include, at a minimum, the following information:

    Many organizations already have some internship agreements in place. If they do not, the Office of Student Enrichment can assist them in developing one. If they decline to have such a contract with an intern, do you really want to work there?

    If you ever experience any actions from a co-worker or supervisor that you think is inappropriate or questionable, consult with the Office of Student Enrichment. This person is well-versed in the legalities of internships and can help you determine your next steps.

    If at all possible, only accept a PAID internship. A paid internship ensures that you are protected against discrimination and harassment and have all the rights of any other employee at the organization.

    Don't always assume that everything will be fine because you know the supervisor/have a family member who works there, etc.

    (Important Note: the rules for internships in humanitarian, civic, charitable or religious non-profit entities are different. The 6-point test is only used to assess the legality of an unpaid internship at a for-profit entity.)

  • Additional Resources
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business | 343 Chandler L. Burns Hall, Clemson, S.C. 29634