Policies & Guidelines

Recruiting Policies & Guidelines

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and adheres to NACE’s Principles for Ethical Professional Practice, which provides recruitment professionals with a framework for maintaining a fair and equitable recruitment process and support responsible decision-making by candidates.

Policies & Guidelines

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) understands that students need sufficient time to make informed decisions when comparing and responding to offers for internships, full-time positions, and related opportunities. These offer guidelines are designed to help ensure overall fairness to all participating parties and allow both employers and students the opportunity to participate fully during the recruiting season.  We encourage our employer partners to honor the following timeframes to ensure students have sufficient time to make informed decisions, which, ultimately, benefit everyone involved.

Summer: For offers extended during the summer (June, July, August)—resulting from an internship experience or from regular recruiting efforts — employers should provide students 6 weeks or until November 1 (whichever is later) to respond to the offer.

Fall or Spring: For offers extended during the fall or spring semesters (September through May) for internships, full-time employment, and related opportunities, employers should provide students a minimum of three weeks from the date they receive the written offer to respond to the offer.  To facilitate the decision-making process, the CLS recommends that written offers:

  • Clearly state all appropriate terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, position title/description, location (if known at the time of offer), start date, end date (if applicable), compensation (salary, bonuses, etc.), and benefits (if applicable). 

If bonuses and other incentives are part of the offer, those should remain in full effect for the entire duration of the offer period.  Additionally, if warranted, employers should remain flexible in granting students additional time to consider an offer on a case-by-case basis.

The CLS encourages students to make decisions on offers within a reasonable timeframe and to be sensitive to employer needs. The CLS neither encourages students to delay their decision nor request arbitrary extensions unless there is a specific reason for doing so.

For more information or questions, contact Employer Engagement at (641) 269-4895 or via email

Exploding offers are strictly prohibited.  The CLS defines exploding offers as any offer that improperly influences, provides excessive pressure, and/or affects job offer acceptances.  These may include undue time pressure for acceptance of offers, diminishing bonuses, reduced options for location preferences and encouragement of revocation of another offer.  Violation of this policy will prompt a review, and the potential termination, of the recruiting relationship.

Extending an offer for an internship, a full-time position, or related opportunity is a serious commitment that we expect employers to honor.  Rescinding offers that have been extended to Grinnell College students is a practice that will not be tolerated.  Violation of this policy will prompt a review, and the potential termination, of the recruiting relationship.

Similarly, accepting an offer for an internship, a full-time position, or a related opportunity is a major commitment and students should only accept an offer if they intend to honor it.  When a student accepts an offer, they are expected to cancel all other scheduled interviews (if applicable); it is inappropriate for students to continue interviewing or applying for other opportunities once they have accepted an offer.  If students are uncertain as to whether they should accept an offer, they are encouraged to consult with a CLS adviser to discuss their offer and options, including requesting an offer extension.

Reneging (i.e., accepting an offer, then declining it) can severely damage the student’s reputation, not only in the short-term, but also for the duration of their career. Additionally, reneging also has negative implications on the College’s relationship with the employer and can affect opportunities for future Grinnell College students.

Students who renege on an offer may have their access to Handshake suspended and they may become ineligible to participate in any College-sponsored recruiting activities (e.g., campus interviews, regional interview events, consortia interview days).

If there are extenuating circumstances that may impact an offer extended (by employers) or accepted (by students), we ask that either party consult with the Assistant Dean and Director of Employer Engagement before taking action.

If any information provided in a student’s Grinnell College Handshake account, resume, or other application materials presents inaccurate or fraudulent information, access to Handshake and/or participation in some or all Grinnell College recruiting activities may be withdrawn.  Examples of misrepresentation would include falsifying information provided during an interview, at a recruiting event, in a written resume or cover letter, and in Handshake profiles, resume books, and uploaded resumes.  Employers who believe they have encountered candidates from Grinnell College who have misrepresented themselves during the recruiting process should contact the Employer Engagement team

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