Legal and Ethical Issues when Referring Students

Faculty and/or staff are typically contacted by former students and personal contacts with employers who are seeking your "best and brightest students" or "Top 5 candidates." Understandably, employers seek faculty and/or staff involvement because you know students from your courses or other roles and can provide a short list of names.

Unfortunately, there are several ethical and legal issues involved with sharing an opportunity with a select group. Please help us in our effort to provide the best recruiting environment for all students and employers.

Avoid Legal Liability

If one of your employer contacts calls you about an open job or internship and asks you to refer qualified students for the position, take the following steps to avoid unnecessary legal liability for ACU or for yourself:

  • Please help us avoid liability by immediately forwarding information on the position to the Career Center at
  • Our office will post the position for all qualified students to see in ACU College Central Network, our online job and internship posting system. It is a requirement of Equal Opportunity standards that the opportunity be posted for all students to see, whether you refer particular students or not. Failure to do so is a violation of these standards and can have legal implications for ACU and/or for you.
  • After sending the position for posting, please discuss the opportunity with students you believe to be particularly qualified for the position and encourage them to apply.
  • Never refer a student to an employer without obtaining that student’s permission.
  • Be constantly aware of EEO standards. Be sure you are considering objective, job-relevant qualifications for the job, not your favorite students.
  • It is permissible for faculty and/or staff to occasionally give names of students to employers if prior permission has been obtained from the students and if the position has been posted for all to see. However, if this is done on a regular basis, faculty and/or staff can be “acting as an employment agency” and therefore subject to EEO regulations.

View the full Faculty Guide to Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Hiring from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Questions? Contact the ACU Career Center at 325-674-2473.