It’s that time of year again where most University of Michigan students are freshening up their resumes and heading out to many of the various career fairs on campus. Students are looking for jobs and internships and companies are looking to hire them. The career fairs are just the place for job seekers to interface with the companies that are hiring. That said, many companies, especially larger ones, have products or services to help them narrow down the list of potential new employees.
In this example, the bottom level would be the students who are seeking employment and the top level would be the companies looking to hire the students. The middleware are the recruiters, interviews, and software systems that help narrow the pool of candidates and make hiring decisions.
The recruiters are the people at the booths at the career fair. They are there to talk to interested students and find people they think would be worth interviewing. The recruiters are generally people who work for the company either in an HR position or someone from a specific area who took on the additional responsibility of going to campus and talking to students. Many are alumni from the school they recruit for, this gives them some background knowledge of how the university functions. While at the career fair, recruiters collect resumes from students; sometimes marking which students they are most interested in.
Another part of the job seeking/hiring process is resume reading. While the recruiters do some preliminary reading during the career fair, it is necessary to go through and read all of the resumes and making sure at least some form of benchmarks are met. Recruiters receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes during career fairs, and I imagine that reading through them is an exhausting process. For this reason, some companies use a resume reading service or software to scan resumes and search for critical information and key words.
Additionally there are interviewers, who are responsible for asking particular questions to and making recommendations about whether or not the individual should move on in the hiring process. Moving on may mean being hired directly or going in to further interviews or visiting the company on site.
For some companies, the recruiters, interviewers and resume readers may all be the same person or group of people. Others may have separate people or services to cover these steps. However, for the vast majority of companies at the career fair, the students attending the career fair are not interacting directly with the people they hope to be working for.