University of Wisconsin–Madison Employer Recruiting Policies


This document outlines the policies and expectations that regulate employers’ recruitment activities for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These policies are designed to create a recruiting environment that is fair and equitable for all UW- Madison students. The policies are also intended to make recruiters’ efforts to attract talented students fair and efficient for all employers. In this document, recruiters will find a description of the structure of career services at UW-Madison, the professional and legal standards that ground recruiting activities, and a list of policies governing recruiting activities.

Structure of Career Services: Career services at UW-Madison are provided by a decentralized, yet coordinated, group of career centers in each school / college, academic centers, and academic department faculty / staff members. Despite the decentralization, UW-Madison has adopted a set of policies for recruiters that apply consistently across the units providing career services. Employers that have the best success recruiting at UW-Madison develop good working relationships with career services staff members who help them understand policies and identify effective ways to engage students. In addition to the policies listed below which are approved by the campus community, each career services unit may have additional recruiting policies. Recruiters should consult appropriate career services units for additional details.

Basis for Recruiting Policies: The recruiting policies outlined below are grounded in both professional standards and employment law. The UW-Madison career centers adhere to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Professional Practice for Career Services and Employment Professionals and expect employers recruiting on campus to do the same. Career center campus recruiting polices are also consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Wisconsin Fair Employment Practices.

General Expectations: Employers are expected to maintain a professional, positive, and collaborative working relationship with career services staff members. This includes: following UW-Madison policies and procedures, meeting necessary deadlines to ensure fair and efficient operation of on-campus recruiting activities across all employers, providing the job / employer information career centers request, and maintaining the confidentiality of student data as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Loss of Recruiting Privileges

Violation of employer recruiting policies or UW-Madison campus and land policies may result in an employer or individual recruiter losing UW-Madison recruiting privileges for a minimum of 1 year. Each career center may have additional policies regarding loss of recruiting privileges.

Access Handshake (campus recruiting software)

Access to Handshake is provided to most organizations after an approval process. By using Handshake, employers agree to the following responsibilities and policies in addition to those outlined in the Handshake users policies. Any violations of the following may result in the loss of Handshake account privileges and/or other recruiting privileges being revoked.

UW-Madison Employer Recruiting Policies

UW-Madison reserves to right to suspend or revoke recruiting privileges to any employer that violates any of these listed policies or campus policies without notice or explanation to the employer. Also included are any actions that negatively impact students or put our students at risk. UW-Madison puts the well-being and safety of our students first.

Job and On-Campus Interviewing Postings: All position postings and requests for on-campus interviews are reviewed and approved by a collective of staff from the career centers. Employers offering part- or full-time employment that requires up-front costs to students in order to work (i.e. membership fees; startup fees; fees for lessons; portfolios or placement fees; or the purchase of tools, samples or sales kits) will not be allowed to post their positions or conduct on-campus interviews at UW- Madison. Any interviews happening on campus need to be approved by the career center (interview locations can vary).

The career centers may review job descriptions posted by any employer for appropriateness and content, and reserve the right to remove any job postings and descriptions without notice or explanation to the employer.

Information sessions: employers are limited to 2 information sessions per semester for up to two career centers for a maximum of 4 information sessions per semester (unless approved for more by the career center). Some locations on campus will require the employer be sponsored by the career center (these locations are also limited to 2 information sessions per semester for up to two career centers for a maximum of 4 information sessions per semester (unless approved for more by the career center).

Alcohol: In accordance with UW-Madison policies and NACE Principles, alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process on or off campus. This includes receptions, dinners, company tours, etc.

Solicitation: Solicitation, defined here as uninvited, employer initiated contact with students, staff and faculty for purposes of employer/intern recruitment in classrooms, academic buildings and campus land, and / or instructors’ offices is prohibited without invitation or sponsorship by a career center.

Extending an Offer: The University recognizes that employers have certain constraints in the flexibility they have to accommodate student needs; however, employers will refrain from making offers with unreasonable time limits or time-sensitive penalties, which exert undue pressure on students. Most career centers require that students be given 2 weeks to consider an offer (please note that the College of Letters and Science requires that students be given 4 weeks to consider an offer); consult with individual career centers for additional specific policies.

Rescinding Offers: On rare occasions, an employer may need to rescind an employment offer to a student. Prior to contacting the student, the career center must be contacted to discuss the circumstances of the rescinded offer. Employers are expected to provide reimbursement of expenses and a small separation allowance for rescinded offers (2-3 months’ salary).

Citizenship / Work Authorization: UW-Madison has a large population of students studying on visas. No fees are to be paid by students for visa sponsorships. The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that wages must be consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupational classification. Although employers are not required to clearly display requirements related to US work authorization in job posting and marketing materials, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

Student Information: Employers will follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when handling student data. Employers that violate FERPA regulations will lose access to career center services.

Professionalism: All employer representatives must maintain a professional and ethical recruiting demeanor throughout all interactions while on the UW-Madison campus or in the community during a recruiting visit. Employer representatives shall do no harm to UW-Madison students, staff, or faculty.

Unpaid Postings: Employers posting an unpaid position with UW-Madison agree to the statement below and attest that they have reviewed relevant Federal and State guidelines and their organization’s unpaid position meets the required standard.

“I understand there are Federal and State standards which determine whether interns should be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime for the services that they provide to “for-profit” private sector employers.”

For more information, visit the Federal Department of Labor’s fact sheet here: and also identify and review the requirements for the applicable Department of Labor for the State of Wisconsin.

Faculty / Staff Referrals: Employers often contact faculty / staff members for names of students who would be good candidates for opportunities. Although faculty / staff members may not see harm in providing a list of their best students, there are legal and ethical pitfalls in doing so. If faculty / staff members refer a few individuals to employers without publicizing the position to all students who may be qualified, then the employer is not maintaining a fair and equitable recruiting process. UW-Madison requires that employers post positions on our campus-wide career services management system, Handshake, for all potential candidates to view.

Third-Party Recruiting: The individual career centers reserve the right to prohibit third-party recruiting. Campus interviews are conducted directly by the employing organization’s employees, rather than by third-party representatives. In cases where third- party representatives are allowed to interview students, they must disclose the name of the client(s) they are representing, the type of position for which they are hiring, and to whom the students’ credentials will be disclosed. The career center will be permitted to verify this information by contacting the named client(s). If permitted, the third-party representative will conduct recruiting at UW-Madison under the name of the hiring organization. Under no circumstances can student information be disclosed for any reason other than recruiting purposes with the designated client(s), nor can it be sold or distributed to other entities. Third-party recruiters coming to the UW-Madison campus will represent only one firm during an interview schedule, presentation, or at a booth during a fair or other activity.

Employer Account – User Policy: To access online recruiting services, each employer representative is required to obtain an account with Handshake and connect with UW-Madison by visiting Multiple users may not access information in one contact account.

Salary and Destination Information: Employers participating in the UW-Madison recruiting partnership will report information on the students they hire from UW-Madison when asked for this information. Employers will also allow the students they hire to share salary and destination information with the career centers to be used in aggregate form for reporting purposes.


Contact Information:
University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Business Engagement

Updated: August 2019