Middleware in Job Seeking

 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.

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3 Responses to Middleware in Job Seeking

  1. alexjking11 says:

    You make a comment about resume-reading software. From my own experience and from talking to others, I know that we’ve all been frustrated by the repeated and endless process of inputting the information on our resumes into the web forms that many companies require you to fill out. The purpose of this seems to be two-fold: to make sure the applicant is committed to applying to the job by requiring him/her to spend an inordinate amount of time filling out the web form; and making the resume easier to parse for resume-reading software. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that the job-seeking infrastructure should continue to emphasize this software-based middleware (or perhaps emphasize it even more), or switch back to the old-school focus on human interaction?

  2. sdalezman says:

    I think an important aspect of the middleware that you missed out on is introduction to recruiters from alumni who work at said company. From hearing stories from friends that alumni can push you through so that you get a first round interview and the rest is up to you. Therefore I think there is an important focus on human interaction in the recruitment process of careers fairs. That being said, I know LinkedIn is selling software to big corporations that can help them find the right people for the job through LinkedIn. LinkedIn software is meant to be very accurate and they are constantly making improvements to the software. However, going back to my first point I think the human interaction is the key component to the function of this system, especially introductions to recruiters by people already inside your network. I think even today being able to tap into your network for jobs is crucial to meeting the right people for the hiring process and getting that first round interview.

  3. Philip Park says:

    I think one big part of the middleware you mentioned is having a network of friends and family that will help you get your job. A large portion of people are hired because of the networks that people have so that their resumes get into the right hands. You are right in saying that software helps narrow the pool. It narrows the first big pool of applicants, but after that there are multiple interviews and tests that are completed in order for the companies to find a person with the right fit. Real interaction by meeting with recruiters is still a huge part in the recruiting process.

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