Career Services has undertaken a major new initiative to replace the HBS Career Link with a new Job Bank. The Job Bank is only being rolled out to RCs this year, while ECs will continue to use the latest version of HBS Career Link. HBS Career Link and the Job Bank are on-line programs that enable students to access job postings, company information, and interview schedules. These programs are critical to the on-campus recruitment process.
Career Link and Job Bank History
HBS Career Link is in its second full year of use by HBS. Prior to the 2001-2002 school year, HBS utilized an in-house program also called the Job Bank (now referred to as the “old Job Bank”). The Old Job Bank replaced paper processes that were used until 1997. For a variety of reasons, Career Services began exploring replacement options for the Old Job Bank in 2000. After exhaustive analysis by Career Services, Information Technology, and students, all parties decided that the off-the-shelf Career Link product offered by eRecruiting (a division of Experience.com) would be the best solution for HBS.
The rollout of HBS Career Link last fall encountered unexpected technical difficulties, largely due to integration issues. In addition, with turbulent changes in the software market, it became clear that eRecruiting was not a suitable long-term partner. As a result, in the early part of this year HBS undertook a massive effort to program a new Job Bank.
HBS Information Technology personnel are developing and programming the new Job Bank. Throughout the development process, HBS Information Technology and Career Services staff met with student focus groups to ensure that the new Job Bank made sense and met the needs of students. According to Career Services’ Maria Fisichelli, the development process was to “focus on core features and provide a superior system that was consistent with our business practices and reliable.” As a result, the new Job Bank is customized to the unique needs of HBS students and the HBS Recruitment process. The program is more efficient than HBS Career Link and offers more powerful search capabilities. Over multiple implementation phases, the new Job Bank will be fully integrated with other HBS software including myHBS.
Additionally, push technology implemented during Phase II will allow students to be notified of interview invitations via myHBS and email. Support and reliability will increase as a result of bringing the Job Bank in-house.
Due to the complexity of the new Job Bank, development and testing could not be completed in time for EC recruiting. Additionally, EC students expressed a preference to stay with one system for both years of recruiting at HBS. As a result, HBS Career Link will be used for the EC Cohort while the RC Cohort will be the first to use the new Job Bank.
The New Job Bank Timeline
Phase I- September 23, 2002
Kick off of RC Section Lunches with Career Services and launch of new Job Bank for RCs. The new Job Bank will have full search capability as well as a “Career Basket” for students to save information about jobs and companies they are interested in. RCs will be able to apply for specific job opportunities through the system.
Phase II- December 2002
Interview scheduling capability will be introduced to enable RCs to sign up for practice interviews.
Phase III- January 2003
Full interview scheduling capability will be introduced including a lottery system.
So what does this mean for you?
For ECs, the recruitment process will be similar to last year. Career Services has worked with eRecruiting to modify some processes on the back-end to minimize application glitches. Additionally, HBS Career Link has a new user interface that is supposed to be more intuitive for users.
Functionality remains comparable, though, including the facilitated application process where users upload their resumes and cover letters to the program and then submit them online. However, recent performance issues have caused Career Services to recommend that ECs bypass the facilitated application process. Instead ECs are asked to submit applications directly to recruiters using the email address provided in the job description. All applications submitted via HBS Career Link have successfully transmitted to recruiters to date, and eRecruiting expects this performance to continue. Students do not need to resubmit applications already submitted via HBS Career Link, but as a precaution, future applications should bypass the system and be sent directly to recruiters. If you have any concerns about this process, please contact Career Services.
As ECs discovered last year, HBS Career Link slows down with increased user traffic. If everyone waits until the last minute to search for jobs online, the server can get bogged down and become extremely slow.
HBS Career Link has been noticeably slower this fall, and eRecruiting has enlisted external system performance specialists to diagnose the problem. Additionally, eRecruiting is planning to perform a system upgrade on September 27, 2002. Unfortunately, this article went to print prior to the upgrade so information about the outcome was not yet available.
This year, the recruiting process includes lottery interviews, which gives students an opportunity to interview with companies that might not select them for closed schedules. To enter the lottery process, students will complete a poll stating their preferences. Students successful in the interview lottery will be notified shortly thereafter
In order to assist ECs that have questions about HBS Career Link, the lottery process, and other technical issues, Career Services will be holding a training session for ECs on September 30, 2002. If you have immediate questions about Career Link or recruiting in general, please contact Career Services at (617) 495-6232 or email@example.com.
Implementation of the new Job Bank will be seamless for RCs. As functionality is required, it will be rolled out. The new Job Bank was launched on September 23, 2002, and Career Services is introducing the basic functionality of the system at RC section lunches being held in late September and early October. RCs currently have the ability to access jobs and research companies using the new Job Bank.
If you have questions or concerns about the new Job Bank, please contact Career Services at (617) 495-6232 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Information Technology at (617) 495-6070 or email@example.com.
As with any major initiative, this is a fluid process and issues are going to arise. Please let your Career Representative or Career Services know as soon as possible about any problems you may have. Additionally, Career Services will remain in constant communication with students about both systems and immediately inform you of any issues or changes. Remember, apply early and be patient – Good Luck!