"Some companies are hiring first and figuring out jobs for these recruits much later.
"Amid a fierce market for college recruits, companies like Facebook Inc. and Intuit Inc. are making offers to dozens of hires without having a particular job waiting—or even, sometimes, a starting salary.
"Recruiters say so-called “program hiring” helps companies scoop up promising talent ahead of competitors and ensures their newest workers can stand a little uncertainty. College career officers say more students are getting offers this way.
"Entry-level hires are locked in more quickly, since recruiters arrive on campus armed with approval to make hires on the spot as they see fit, she said.
"This is important as employers press onto university campuses earlier and earlier in the school year.
"A candidate who accepts Intuit’s offer sets in motion a complex matchmaking process that includes salary discussions.
"Each new hire is assigned a recruiter who coordinates a series of matching conversations between the hire and various Intuit managers over the course of several months.
"The conversations are designed to align the hire’s interests and talents with an available position—and teams that help with campus recruiting often get first dibs on new hires—Ms. Carter said.
"Hires are given their assignments shortly before starting work, having received information about pay some time before that."