Students said they’re starting work sooner this academic year after human resources and the career center reformed the hiring process.
Students and professors involved in student employment and work study said new hiring procedures and Handshake, a new student job platform implemented in June, have improved student employment on and off campus by cutting down on onerous wait times between being hired and starting work.
Students described Handshake as a more “user friendly” and “streamlined” way to find available jobs. Handshake provides students a personalized interface under its “For You” tab, which organizes available positions based on factors like career interest and location, making the job search simpler, students said.
Rachel Brown, the assistant provost for the Center for Career Services, said the office has helped make the hiring process faster over the past year by adding step-by-step instructions for employers and students on the career center’s website.
Last January, career services and Human Resources completed a project to streamline the student hiring process, adding training for employers, speeding up the procedure to get background checks for students working in the security or financial industries and sending employers and student employees multiple notifications about where they stand in the hiring process.
The time estimated for students to go through the hiring process is two weeks but is also dependent on students filling out tax forms on time, Brown said.
“We appreciate the feedback that we have received to date and will continue to make enhancements and improvements to the system in order to provide the best service for our students,” Brown said in an email.
The reformed hiring process has allowed professors to start research projects quickly and with less bureaucratic hassle than in the past, faculty said.
Tyler Anbinder, a professor of history working with students on a project studying American-Irish history, said the hiring process over the summer was “much faster” than what he is used to and that being able to get started immediately on projects was key to his research.
He said months-long waits to hire student researchers have hindered his projects in the past, but this year he was able to hire three students in a little more than a week.
“There were times where by the time I got the person hired, it was too late to do the job, so that was why I was pleasantly surprised this summer when these people got hired so quickly and smoothly,” Anbinder said.
Students said they also found the new measures put in place made the hiring process easier to navigate.
Sophomore Laurana Nyman said hiring procedures were “convoluted” in the past but this year the process was moved quicker and more seamlessly. Last year, she had a job that forced her to endure a rush hour commute that took up to an hour and a half, but she said Handshake helped her find a job much closer to campus through the location sorting feature.
“I didn’t like the system before,” she said. “I remember going into it and not knowing what to do so I ended up doing my own research on the side.”
This year, she said she was able to find a job working in the curatorial department of the Smithsonian American Art Museum through Handshake and the paperwork process took less than two weeks.
But both this year and last year, Nyman, who is an off-campus work study student, had to go to the employment office in career services and her employer four times before she started work, a process she said is still more complicated than it needed to be.
Sophomore Spencer Bracey, a returning work study employee in the business school, said last year it took several weeks for him to be cleared to start working after he was hired because he had to send forms back and forth to career services. He said the forms expired after 10 days if they weren’t processed and then needed to be filled out again.
He said the job search was easier and faster this year because of the new Handshake system and he got hired within two weeks.
“Last year I remember I was searching and searching and it was really hard to find even a job that was actual federal work study,” he said. “It was coming up with actual positions, full-time, which I didn’t need, obviously.”
Freshman Annalise Morrone, a work study employee in the University Honors Program office, said it took just two days for her to start her position after she was hired. She interviewed for the job in August, filled out forms at Career Services the next day in less than an hour and began working the following day.
She said the process was “easy as pie.”
“I took up a work study job just because I might as well make money while I’m here because obviously the toll of school loans and stuff like that is hard,” she said. “Especially because my family, they’re middle class, so they need the money so I was like I might as well make a few bucks a week.”