Employers hunt for talent amid economic uncertainty at Notre Dame job fairs

The Career Development Center hosted the Fall 2022 Career Fair in person at the Duncan Student Center Monday through Wednesday this week.

The first night’s events included the Engineering Industry Day and a Sustainability Expo. On Tuesday, exactly 150 employers filled table space in the Dahnke Ballroom for the all-college career fair. On Wednesday, the Postgraduate Services and Social Impact Fair helped close out the three-day event.

Protiviti, a global business consulting firm, was one of the employers at the show on Monday to recruit students with skills in business technology and data analytics.

Timothy Wilson, a 1984 Notre Dame graduate and head of the data and analytics solutions group at Protiviti’s Chicago office, showed up at the fair to drum up all the buzz for his company.

Like most consulting businesses, Protiviti has grown during the pandemic, Wilson said.

Despite the economic downturn in the US economy since the start of this year, Wilson doesn’t see the growth of the consulting industry stopping anytime soon.

“I see a lot of continued need for advice in the future. Obviously we are doing something right,” he said, referring to Protiviti’s growth.

The pervasive volatility that has been the reality of the market for the past two years is good for Protiviti’s business, Wilson said.

“In times of great uncertainty, the board offers a real advantage because it can offer short-term support and long-term strategic vision,” he said.

Wilson noted lasting changes in the business world since the start of the pandemic.

“The market is changing and companies are going to need consultants to help them navigate the change,” he said.

Josh Cabrera, senior research analyst for Marquette Associates, was another Notre Dame grad at the fair looking for young talent. Cabrera agreed with Wilson on the pandemic’s impetus in consulting.

“Capital market volatility ironically increases the need for investment advice,” he said.

Post-pandemic recruiting has changed due to hiring difficulties caused by the tight labor market, Cabrera said.

“Working from home affects what applicants value,” he said. “They value flexibility more than direct compensation.”

Companies must now be “flexible to the needs of the average employee,” Cabrera said.

While Cabrera prefers employees come into the office to interact with the team, Marquette Associates must now offer hybrid work from home, he said.

Brandon Ladd, a Notre Dame graduate in 2022 with a degree in finance and history, returned to his alma mater to recruit for Walmart’s accounting and finance development program. Walmart, like many companies at the fair, was looking to hire seniors or graduate students for full-time positions in addition to interns, Ladd said.

Throughout 2022, Walmart and other major retailers have struggled to recoup inventory losses during the latest market decline. Ladd was nonetheless confident that the program he was recruiting for was a “comfortable company-wide initiative,” he said.

Walmart was looking to hire more this year compared to last year, Ladd said, and he didn’t believe the U.S. economy was “truly in a recession.”

“People still have to go shopping,” he said.

Contact Peter Breen at [email protected]

Comments are closed.