In past years, when interviews were conducted mostly in person, there was a compelling reason for recruiters and candidates to coordinate on a single period of time and a single city where a large number of interviews would take place. Coordinating in this way helped minimize travel costs. But interviews now can be conducted remotely using on-line meeting services, effectively and without travel. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most recruiters to plan for only remote interviews and fly-outs in the 2020–2021 market. (Some recruiters initiated a move to remote interviews even before the pandemic.) The market in future years may not look like the market of years past.
We who manage EJM recognize that, without the need for interviews to be concentrated in time and space, the market may function better with a decentralized and dispersed interview schedule. Recruiters will have idiosyncratic needs and constraints. Candidates may find that interviews spread over a period of weeks rather than hours will give them a chance to learn from earlier interviews and use this experience to revise their presentations for later interviews. Having a bad day won’t mean bungling an entire series of interviews.
It remains to be seen whether efficiency calls for any particular way of coordinating market activities. Further, market participants may discover new ways of engaging with and learning about each other, such as through remote poster sessions or short seminars open to multiple recruiters.
We think that EJM and other organizations will best facilitate the evolving market by gathering and displaying information about the market functions in real time, to provide transparency. When market participants learn of others’ plans, they will be able to prepare and adjust their own schedules. Innovations in the way recruitment is done can be widely adopted.
We encourage all recruiters to post their advertisements in EJM (note that there are free options) and to include the expected date when interviews will take place, so that candidates can schedule their preparations accordingly. Information on expected interview dates is shown on this Market Information page (see below).
We also encourage recruiters to use EJM’s interview-scheduling system. This flexible system can be used to establish any desired interview calendar, designate blocks of time for interviews in custom categories, and automate the process of contacting candidates, who then select into interview slots.
EJM is co-sponsoring a survey of recruiters led by Sylvain Chassang (Princeton), Pascaline Dupas (Stanford), and Ben Golub (Harvard). Their October 2020 report and survey statistics is shown on this Market Information page (see below).
Other EJM initiatives
EJM is actively collaborating with its partner organizations, particularly the European Economic Association and the Econometric Society. EJM serves as the EEA’s official site for job-postings, submission of applications and letters, and interview scheduling. We are working with the EEA on its December job-market meeting. EJM’s new marketplace for RA and pre-doc positions was also developed in collaboration with the EEA.
Finally, the EJM leadership team is working to enhance the EJM system in ways that will facilitate new kinds of job-market activities. New features will be announced when they are available.
If you have any suggestions on how EJM can help facilitate efficient market functions, please post a feature request or send us a note.
We wish you the best for this market season. Stay safe and stay in touch.
Martin Osborne, EJM Officer and Professor, University of Toronto
Mike Peters, EJM Officer and Professor, University of British Columbia
Joel Watson, EJM Officer and Professor, UC San Diego