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Fabriq vs In-Person Career Center: Battle Royale Edition🤜💥🤛

Tyler Baker

Everybody loves a good time capsule —
am I right? 🤷‍♂️

Prior to December 2020, the company now known as Grafted was called Fabriq. This post was published during that time. Yes, our name has changed. But as you read, you'll see that one thing hasn't changed: our passion for creating impactful career communities. Enjoy this blast from the past... and then let's schedule a demo to discuss the future of career services.

Every once in a while, we’ll sit down to write a Tweet, and it will mutate.


We’ll start with an idea and begin composing a Tweet...

… which will turn into a thread

… which will morph into a book.

We usually end up filtering down these “mega-Tweets” to 5-6 Tweets in a thread. But not today.

Earlier this week, we Tweeted about a NACE study:

Fabriq Communities are a Critical Tool for Career Centers

As I was thinking about that study, I realized that Fabriq career communities generate way more frequent engagement than in-person career centers ever did. And I could prove that with our data. 

Take, for example, the Forward360 app, which is the career community app of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Department.

Since June of 2020, 18.5% of student-athletes engaged on the Forward360 app at least 4 times, whether by watching a career info video or by joining a career broadcast. 

On face value, that is a 325% INCREASE from the average number of in-office visits across career service departments.

That’s an incredible number. Over 3 times as many students are engaging 4+ times a semester on the Fabriq app as had when in-office visits were the main outcome (pre-COVID). 

But this data is even more impressive once we go down a few levels.

Here’s the NACE data in context:

NACE Online Survey Results

3 things to know about the NACE data

1. It’s skewed by the fact that 20% of respondents were in job-search crunch time.

In Winter/Spring 2017, NACE surveyed over 21,000 students nationwide, including over 4,200 graduating seniors— meaning that 20% of the students were in crunch time, within a couple of months of graduation and (presumably) more likely to be thinking about career. 

By contrast, our Fabriq data includes June-October of this year. Fabriq data excludes students who graduated in 2019, meaning that our set only includes students who are 11+ months away from graduation. STILL they are more engaged.

2. NACE data includes ALL students— obviously this data isn’t limited to athletes.

Remember, the general student body overwhelmingly  goes to school because of career (more on that in this post). This isn’t true in the same way for athletes, who tend to remain focused on their sport until late in college. In general, athletes have more demanding schedules and a greater sense of divided attention. And yet STILL athletes were over 3x more likely to engage.

3. The data favors Fabriq even more when we zoom out. 

When we zoom out to consider any number of engagements (career center visits vs Fabriq video content engagement), Fabriq engaged 50% more students than in-person visits (60% vs 40%). Here are those numbers head-to-head:

NACE Office Averages vs Forward360 App Performance

One disclaimer about Forward360:

Forward360 is one piece of UW-Madison's robust student-athlete engagement strategy. They've got a phenomenal team of support staff who work tirelessly to engage athletes via email, phone calls, Zoom calls, and in-person events. Fabriq is one piece of their strategy. An essential piece but not the only piece.

Key Takeaways

1. This data shows how Fabriq scales in practice!

Fabriq engages a greater percentage of students than traditional methods alone— enabling you to scale career discovery programming across your department. Fabriq is engaging 50% more students in career discovery, which allows you to better serve and connect those students. Fabriq provides a means of reaching students that were previously much harder to reach. By democratizing career services and allowing all students access to great career info content on-demand, Fabriq helps ensure that the students who need help the most actually receive it.

2. Fabriq allows students (and you) to have more of the key conversations sooner.

Students can cram for a lot of things; career isn't one of them. It's essential that Career Centers find ways to encourage career discovery earlier and earlier for student-athletes. In a recent post, we talked about how Career Centers can use alumni stories to illuminate career options for students. This data from Forward360 shows that is actually happeningStudents are engaging in career conversations BEFORE their senior year, when they still have time to change their minds.

In-person career center visits are one of the more advanced steps for students exploring career. Fabriq allows you to engage students that are still uncertain, that want to learn, and that need some low barrier to entry options prior to prioritizing in-person coaching form career services. Fabriq provides resources for students who aren't at the bottom of the funnel (more on that in this post).

3. Fabriq leverages your Career Center's existing credibility to generate engagement FAST.

You have put in the energy, love, and time to build a career center that changes lives. You're in a position to have a massive impact on every student you engage with. The problem is, you can't multiply yourself to effectively reach all the students who need your help.

To see how quickly this happens, let's compare the NACE average engagement stats to a brand new Fabriq community, Liberty University Business Community. LUBC has been active for just a couple of months. STILL, the engagement stats are incredible.

LUBC vs NACE National Averages

As you can see, even within the first couple months of launch, Fabriq career communities perform better than in-person Career Centers. And just as a reminder, this is comparing the first TWO MONTHS of a Fabriq community with a full semester of in-person visits.

Top career centers are leveraging Fabriq to scale their services to reach a greater percentage of their students. And because Fabriq connects students with alumni content, students are one step closer to the opportunities that alumni hold.

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