Economist Noah Smith writes about the process he went through in the econ job market in 2012.
After applications go out, employers contact grad students for interviews. These interviews take place at the AEA's Annual Meeting in early January, which is a gigantic confab where most of the economists in the country go to eat free food and hobnob. As an interviewee, you generally don't have time to go to any of the presentations or speeches; you're running back and forth from hotel to hotel, going to interview after interview. This year's AEA Meeting was in Chicago.
You then wait a week or two, and the employers who are interested in you call you back and schedule a flyout. Flyouts, which happen in February and March, involve going to the place, meeting the people, getting taken to dinner, and presenting your research. After that, offers go out.Ahh to be done with recruiting before April Fools Day. Why can't we do this in Computer Science? In one word: Decentralization.
Academic fields act administratively like their field. So econ creates a structured market with the goal of an efficient (in their sense of the right people get the right jobs) outcome.
Computer science abhors centralized control. We lack a strong central authority and have very little coordination between different departments. So we have a process that takes a long time to work its way through and quite often fails to get that efficient outcome. Even the CRA's modest 2010 proposal for some common earlier deadlines went nowhere.
What can we do? I welcome suggestions and will give some of my own in a future post.