Seniors May See Recruiting Downturn

This year's seniors may face a tougher time than the Class of 2000 in the job market, as companies begin to scale back hiring in the face of dismal dot-com performance and a possible economic slowdown, economists and officials at the Office of Career Services (OCS) said yesterday.

Consulting and investment banking firms seem to be reducing recruiting efforts from last year's peak.

Some companies trimmed their on-campus interview schedule in the fall, cutting the number of fall interviews offered by as much as a third.

"Recruiting is still above average but not as much as last year. It was a banner year last year," said OCS Director of Recruiting Judy Murray. "With dot-coms fading, it's almost a cannonball. Venture capital slows down, which hurts the ad industry. This is going to contribute to the amount of jobs out there."

The Blackstone Group, an on-campus recruiter that typically hires a few Harvard students each year, sent out an e-mail to applicants cancelling their spring recruiting interviews.

"The Blackstone Group has canceled their interview schedules in early February due to a change in their hiring

needs," the e-mail read. The e-mail did not offer greater detail on the reasons for the cancellations.

Murray said some cutbacks may be a result of companies' shifting interviewing resources to the spring cycle. Merrill Lynch, for example, has scheduled spring interview sessions for the first time this year, she said.