Simply put, recruiting is the process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate for a job opening. But the reality is, it’s much more than that. It’s a job that requires a combination of strategic thinking, creativity, persuasion and a thorough understanding of the job market and the needs of the organization.
Goodbye, Newspapers; Hello, LinkedIn
Recruitment is an art that has evolved over the years. The context, candidates, and recruitment process have changed significantly with the advent of technology. So long to the days of jobseekers hitting the pavement with their resume in hand or companies posting in the local paper. Thanks to platforms like LinkedIn, people can go online, find, and apply for jobs with just a click of a button.
On the recruiting side, we utilize these platforms to easily advertise open positions and engage with potential candidates in a more unique and personal way. In terms of processes, the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have made it easier for recruiters to not only track candidates, but we also store candidates in our pipeline and match them to current and future roles.
All of these advancements have really made it easier for not only companies to find amazing talent, but for job-seekers to find their dream jobs. It’s truly a win-win!
Speaking of social media, websites like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have changed recruitment significantly. Social media platforms are a great way to source candidates, network, and promote the company.
To really take advantage of these sites, a recruiter has to know who their audience is in order to choose the right platform to advertise a job. For instance, if I’d like to promote an open entry-level position for the GenZ audience, then TikTok would be my go-to site. On the other hand, if I’m looking for an experienced professional with a large network, I would use LinkedIn.
In many ways, the use of social media has transformed not only the way we source candidates, but also for candidates to get to know prospective companies and find open positions. Social media is one of the most useful tools we have right now as recruiters.
A Journey from Marketing/Communications to Talent Acquisition
Taking into account my time as a recruiter here at Webber, I can attest to the fact recruiting is certainly an art that requires a combination of skills and experience.
Having started my career in the marketing/communications field, I was accustomed to communicating with a wide audience and promoting products and services to the public. The year 2020 brought Covid-19 and for some, heartache, and sadness. I experienced colleagues and friends losing their jobs. 2020 brought a period to think about my future and what I was passionate about.
After reaching what fields would give me the most satisfaction, Human Resources and Project Management were at the forefront. I realized I was more passionate about helping people and companies grow. After researching about six graduate programs, I applied and was accepted into the University of Houston – Downtown’s MBA program studying Human Resource Management and Project Management. I specifically wanted to learn about Talent Acquisition. (They were the only program I researched with this course.)
I currently hold my graduate certificate and look forward to completing my Master’s. Before I landed a role as a recruiter for Webber, I have the amazing opportunity to work with a well-known recruiting firm in the Galleria area and also completed an internship with Kroger. I must say, once I started my journey, everything clicked instantly! Not only am I using what I learned in my courses, but I am also the marketing techniques from my prior positions to find the right people to join us at Webber.
Balancing Art and Science to Find the Right Candidates
What does it take to find the right people for the right roles? In the technical sense, it involves attracting, engaging, and assessing talent for work, but in the practical sense it requires a lot of practice, experience, and a little bit of creativity.
Humans are complex and everyone has a distinct set of strengths, weaknesses, skills, interests, passions and it’s our job in the recruitment department to find the right combination of these to match the needs of the role, the team, and, of course, the company. It involves being able to look at a candidate from all angles: their skills on paper, the team, the company, and their dreams, while making sure it matches our needs. It’s being an advocate for the business as well as the candidate. To do this well, recruiters must think outside the box to find different ways to get to know the candidate to, ultimately, make sure it’s the right fit for them and the company.
When recruiting for a position, it is important to first understand the job requirements and qualifications needed for the role. This can be achieved through a proper analysis of the job, including an overview of the role, responsibilities, conditions and salary. Once the job requirements are clear, the recruiting process can begin by advertising the position through various channels, such as job boards, social media, and professional networks. The next step is to screen resumes and applications to identify qualified candidates, followed by conducting interviews to assess their qualifications and fit.
Screening candidates is one of the most important steps in the process. It’s often a misconception that screenings are just for the recruiters to gather information from the interviewee, but it’s equally important for the recruiter to help the interviewee gain a clear understanding of the company, its culture, and the position they applied to. During this time, recruiters and candidates can really get to know each other. From there, we select top candidates to be interviewed by the hiring managers who then select the best fit for their team. After an offer is extended and accepted, the candidate then transitions to the pre-hire step of the process.
Recruiter Turned Advisor
The recruiter’s job doesn’t end with the incorporation of a new employee. After the incorporation, it can be very challenging and overwhelming for the hired candidate. As a recruiter you want to make sure they start off strong and confident. Therefore, it’s the recruiter’s responsibility to serve as an advisor in those first days, weeks, and even months of their new role.
The type of advisor that each new hire needs varies greatly from person to person so part of our role is to ensure that we adapt to their needs. Some of our duties in the onboarding process include making sure that new hires know the ‘ins and the outs’ of their new workplace, from relatively minimum details like where the bathrooms are to the more complex things such as their new role and team.
One strategy I like to implement with new hires is periodically doing a ‘temperature check’ to assess how they’re feeling in their new role. This is simply performed in passing. I can get a good idea of how their transition is going and where they might need more support.
A True Measure of Success
As with any profession, it’s important to know what success looks like and for me as a recruiter, the true measure of success is the tenure of our employees. When there is a low turnover rate, it’s not only important to the growth and stability of the company, but also to the culture and work environment.
Sometimes I like to think about a company as a high school basketball team composed of upper- and lower-classmen and each of whom play a key role in the success of the team. However, imagine if a team was only composed of lower-classmen. They might have the skill, but would lack the invaluable experience and knowledge that upper-classmen bring to the team. Therefore, my job as a recruiter is to ensure that Webber has a well-balanced team of upper and lower-classmen by matching the right candidates to the right roles.