Careers in Recruitment
THE best part of recruiting is that you're on the `right' side of the interview table. The unnerving part of it is that the company depends on the people you hire. Being a recruiter is no cakewalk and demands certain skills. To begin with, you must be a people person. A recruiter's targets are people- the indispensable factor that powers companies. So, obviously a career in recruiting requires you to like being with people, posses the ability to assess their skills and match them to the type of work they will excel in. Recruiting is not merely about filling job vacancies.
What equips a recruiter to be the best judge? The best tool for a recruiter is himself, but an MBA in Human Resources is a good springboard to leap from. Graduates and postgraduates in subjects like psychology, or sociology do equally well. A recruiter needs to have the essential knowledge of the job for which a candidate is being sought. It is not necessary to be an IT expert or a sales prodigy but it is very necessary to know what the job entails, what skills are required and to be able to spot those skills in a résumé. Remember, most people don't know how to write a proper CV and it all depends on the skill of the executive who shortlists the candidates. You can't line up a postgraduate in demographic economics at an entry-level position in a call center (unless of course the concerned postgraduate wants to do the job!). A big plus is to have the gift of gab to worm out information about a person and also people whom he might know in his workplace or elsewhere who could fit the bill. The art of head hunting is all about being able to network effectively.
What does a recruiter do? A recruiter isn't just playing a mix n' match game slotting people into jobs. A person can very well flick through ads in the newspapers or surf the Internet and find a job. A recruiter's place in an office is due to the fact that he can locate individuals with a very narrow list of required qualifications. Recruiters also need to have strong relationships with companies, which is why they know about job openings before they are advertised! A recruiter first assesses what kind of person is needed - full-time, part-time or on a project basis. Then he generates a job description, which is the all-important base. A job description includes:
The title: the designation that's printed on a business card
The primary and secondary responsibilities: the main and the routine duties
Core competencies: the skills and attributes needed to perform the job
Experience required: details of the type and amount of experience in years
Preferred educational background: - the degrees and certifications needed
Compensation: the salary and basic benefits such as health and life insurance, etc.
On the basis of the job description the recruiter then sets out head hunting with the help of databases, personal networks and of course CVs received from recruitment advertisements. The recruiter's success lies in his ability to bring in a constant source of possible candidates. Credentials have to be screened but a good recruiter goes beyond the degrees given on the CV and narrows down the search to scheduled interviews. Interviewing is the most valuable hiring tool and it's an art that a recruiter must master. The idea is to ask the right questions and spend enough time to know the candidates and follow up with phone calls. A recruiter also has to know that sometimes the salary isn't enough to lure a qualified candidate and it's also how he positions the company and growth prospects. As a recruiter one has to be able to put forward to the ideal candidate the `what's in it for him' factor and reel him in.
A career in recruiting won't have you riding a horse picking up scalps as trophies- in fact sometimes the sword might be hanging over your head! It's a challenge though, to be able to size up one's fellow humans and tap into their potential to make real life success stories. Needless to say that recruiters make a lot of money if they're successful and as for the pitfalls to avoid- don't hire the wrong person! The best part of the profession is that one can work in one of several placement agencies or, set up on one's own. Salaries are respectable, and income from a recruiting business is very encouraging indeed. The top agencies in the field will generally have offices in every metro in India and since hiring takes place in upcountry towns as well, a recruiter's job could include exciting travel in India and abroad.
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