As spring semester progresses and seniors are preparing to enter the workforce. When the pandemic shifted everything online back in 2020, the application and hiring process for a number of companies changed. Now, in 2022, the job search process is beginning to go back to normal agains as restrictions begin to loosen.
Director of the Student Professional Development Center Brooke Buffington said that when COVID-19 arrived, many industries shifted to hiring in the spring season. A traditional hiring cycle is when industries such as finance and accounting hire in the fall, while more communications and arts and science industries hire in the spring. Buffington said she believes this year will be different.
“There’s so much uncertainty around what their hiring needs are going to be, this year is much more traditional,” Buffington said.
Although many companies this year will return to a traditional hiring cycle, the ways in which companies are hiring may be new to the applicants.
Buffington said Elon has invested time and money into updating their resources to best prepare students for interviews, like adding additional technology, software and career advisers at the SPDC.
“Even before the pandemic, we’d already added things in our interview rooms, like ring lights, because we knew more and more students are going to need good lighting for their video interviews,” Buffington said.
Senior Corey Sobell said this year’s job search is easier than last year’s improvements in technology, as well as companies hiring more applicants. Sobell also said the changes to the application process because of COVID-19 have helped him access more job opportunities.
“One thing that COVID actually has helped with is that a lot of people are expanding further in their hiring pool through virtual interviews,” Sobell said.
The SPDC has introduced new tools during the pandemic to help students enhance their job search. One new platform is Big Interview — a tool that allows students to pre-record their interviews and request to have an adviser review it or to have the artificial intelligence program give feedback.
“We make sure that we have the tools in place that simulate the same process that our students are going to go through,” Buffington said.
Although some companies have developed or purchased new technology to recruit employees, many companies still have unknowns regarding basic logistics, like whether a job will be remote or in-person. Though this can be a confusing time for new employees, Buffington said s students should be flexible with their employers.
“Being open to being flexible with that is going to be a great way to show that you’re an asset to the organization and that you’re gonna be a good employee for them to work with,” Buffington said.
As more seniors begin to look for more jobs, Buffington reminds the university that all Elon students have free access to Big Interview for professional use. Students who need assistance in applying to jobs or internships can visit the SPDC for interview tips, resume editing and one-on-one career appointments.