Employer Frequently Asked Questions

Absence of Offer Dates/Deadlines in Honor Code & Best Practices

Q: Why is Auburn changing the structure again this year?

A: Peer programs across the country have eliminated offer rules. Because Auburn acknowledges the changing landscape of recruiting, we found it necessary to eliminate these prescribed dates.

Q: Aren’t there risks involved with making offers to students earlier than “normal?”

A: We sympathize with any employer who believes that this new process allows offers too early. Auburn University believes there is a risk in making offers before students complete their junior year, mainly due to the need to verify that students can succeed in their accounting coursework. We also see a risk that a younger student may not be knowledgeable enough about the recruiting process to exercise sound decision-making. This risk could result in a rescinded acceptance or affect full-time conversion following the internship.

Q: What are other schools in the state of Alabama doing regarding offer guidelines?

A: Auburn University and The University of Alabama have always followed in lockstep regarding the timing of the recruiting process. Historically, other Alabama programs with significant recruiter presence have observed the procedures followed by our two Universities, but we do not have data from other campuses.

Q: What if we’re not ready to make offers when we hear of a competitor making offers?

A:  We inform students of the rolling nature of offers so they understand that offers can occur at any point in their academic career. We consider it our responsibility to be clear to our students that this is a process and not all employers make offers during the same timeframe. We will also communicate to students that they should complete all summer programs they have accepted invitations to attend and not make a decision until all options are considered. Employers can assist us in these efforts by clearly outlining to students your general process that leads to internship offers. Creating an expectation of your timeline will help keep students engaged throughout your process. If a student is interested in you and understands your process, they are more likely to wait to complete your process before making a decision.

Q: If we have historically hosted a summer leadership program (SLP), should we continue to host it?

Although we cannot tell you how to conduct your recruiting, our preferred answer is “yes.” Although SLPs may take on a new look or timing in the process, we feel that the in-office experience is incredibly important to a student’s final decision. We are committed to advising students that the new Honor Code provides for many different offer timelines, and to (1) not expect all offers to be made in the same window, (2) not feel pressure to make a decision until they are ready, and (3) attend all summer programs hosted by employers of interest.

Q: If we do not currently host an SLP, will we be at a competitive disadvantage?

A: We understand that many employers cannot earnestly conduct recruiting during busy season. We have always encouraged employers to engage with students throughout the school year and over the summer, as relationships strengthen with repeated interactions. In terms of a formal “summer leadership program,” we find that students respond just as positively to invitations to visit the office on a more informal basis during school breaks.

Therefore, we do not believe that SLPs necessarily provide an advantage; rather, having quality contact with an employer and meeting as many people as possible throughout the recruiting process is important to students.  Further, there are several AU-sponsored opportunities to meet students during the year, such as Meet the Firms (January/September) and the Local/Regional Firm Meet & Greet (late April). Employers who do not fill internship positions by the end of the summer can identify and interview candidates during the fall.

Q: How will Meet the Firms & campus interviews work if students can receive and accept offers at any time?

A: Because the new structure allows students to receive and accept offers at any time, Professional Partners will only see truly interested/available candidates at these events. Students generally attend Meet the Firms by the fall of their junior year. We encourage Professional Partners to utilize their presence on campus during these events to get to know the juniors and interview them during the spring for opportunities (SLPs or internships). It is also extremely important to early identify students (i.e. Rising Accountant & Analyst Program members) so they are aware of your opportunities.

Q: What kind of messaging do you provide to the students to ensure they handle offers rationally?

A: We distributed a separate Student Q&A document to help students make good decisions when it comes to internship offers (and provide employers a copy via the BAP website). Messaging is also incorporated into the ACCT 3810 Professional Development in Accountancy course that our students take early in the accounting curriculum. Although some students may receive multiple offers throughout the process, we encourage them to take advantage of the entire process.

Q: What can I interpret as a “reasonable amount of time” to mean for an offer decision deadline?

A: Auburn asks employers to avoid giving unreasonable offer deadlines, as it puts undue pressure on the student to decide quickly. Because offers are made on a rolling basis, it is important to allow students the option to complete the recruiting process and review ALL options before making a final decision. We encourage you to have an open conversation with your recruits about how much time they may need to make their decision.

Q: What else can I do to help reinforce the messaging students receive from Auburn?

A: Auburn wants employers to emphasize to students the importance of maintaining strong academic credentials and maintaining involvement in their student organizations. Students feel accountable to their chosen employer and typically respond well to a promise to re-check transcripts before the internship, or a request for an updated resume. We want students to continue to excel in the classroom and contribute to our student organizations such as Beta Alpha Psi.