JobTrak Elicits Mixed ReviewsBy Karen E. Robinson
In its first two months of use, JobTrak has received mixed reviews from both students and recruiters.
Earlier this fall, students complained about glitches experienced using JobTrak. These glitches - including a day when resume submission went offline causing students to miss many submission deadlines- prompted the Undergraduate Association to file a motion calling for MITto return to a paper-based system. Despite these glitches, the UA has since withdrawn from this position.
"Any time you change a process, you're going to have some hiccups," said Jim Banks, Hewlett Packard's recruitment manager for MIT.
Banks said, he has seen "about the number of bugs you'd expect" arising from MIT's change of systems and bugs inherent to JobTrak.
However, according to Banks, JobTrak is being improved daily, and he said he expects it to be working much better by the time they use it again in the spring.
Other recruiters found JobTrak useful, but wondered how well the students were utilizing it. Recruiters from Fluor Daniel Inc., which employs mainly chemical engineers, felt the need to send a letter to graduating seniors in addition to advertising through JobTrak.
Many students and recruiters found it is a good idea not to trust JobTrak and opt to confirm appointments outside the system. If the student takes this initiative, it is "always a plus" in the recruiters' eyes, said a Fluor Daniel recruiter.
Many students said they have found direct calls to companies a necessity, but few expected not to have to complement the automated process.
In addition, because of the ease of submitting resumes using JobTrak, many students apply to more companies than they would otherwise. Submitting a resume in JobTrak is as easy as clicking on a box.
"I felt bad, because I didn't really know the companies well," admitted one student.
This approach is logical from students' point of view, but results in an unwarranted amount of screening on the reviewers' end, said recruiter Peter Cahill, who wished there were more time to spend on each resume.
Students have also voiced concern over the lack of flexibility in designing one's resume using JobTrak- a point raised by the UA's motion. Formatting is possible, but the system - which resembles HTML - is limited and, students claimed, a bother to learn. Some suggested that better-formatted resumes from other schools are more often noticed by prospective employers.
JobTrak also makes the search/interview process more rigid and impersonal than conventional paper systems, said recruiter Mary Laberrie.
Laberrie said she would like to be able to schedule interviews for half her allotted interview time and leave the rest of the day more open, but JobTrak leaves no such option.