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April 25, 2005

New Student Employment Website
Interactive, Quicker, Easier to Use

A new web-based student employment system unveiled this semester is making life easier for campus employers and employees alike, as more students and departments discover the electronic hiring system recently put in place by the student employment office.

The system this semester advertised more than 3,500 jobs and moved thousands of applications from students to various UConn departments via e-mail. The website is

“This really reduces the workload,” says Jackie Soroka, assistant director of student employment, “especially for large employers like the Homer Babbidge Library, that employs a couple of hundred students a year.”

Posting a job and reviewing applications is now much easier and faster, and departments that fill the same jobs semester after semester can save their ad in a file, then repost it whenever they’re ready.

Employers can post jobs in advance, giving a date for the system to post the ad. The ad will be removed as soon as a position is filled, and clicking the “hire” button automatically sends job and employee information to the payroll department.

The program works well for students, too, who can search for a job by type, pay grade, hours, or location, 24 hours a day. They can also customize and submit a description of their desired job, and receive an automated e-mail alert when a similar position becomes available.

Access to the system is simple, and directions for posting a job, or answering an advertisement, are easy to follow. The system is paperless, saves time, and connects with students the way they like it – online.

“Our constituents are part of the millennial generation, and we strive to do business the way they want,” by offering services online, says Jean Main, director of financial aid.

The interactive system made its debut at the beginning of the spring semester. The basic software, known as Job-X, was customized to fit UConn’s student employment system. Soroka and her staff spent several months tailoring the program to the University’s needs, then nearly a year testing and tweaking it. They also trained several hundred employers, and wrote user guides for students and departments.

Jobs advertised can be for student labor or work study, or community service positions outside the University. More than 5,000 students a year work on campus.

Soroka and Main are eager to see how the system works this fall, traditionally the busiest hiring season of the year, when many departments try to hire student workers for the year. Already, they say, a number of available summer positions have been posted, and some advertisements are being filed – and saved – for fall openings.

It’s a long way from the days when students would scout the halls of the Wilbur Cross Building, digging through layers of paper job ads tacked to the walls. It’s even a long way from the previous jobs website, which was slower, had no automated method for collecting and reviewing applications, and didn’t allow students to search by specific criteria.