June 19, 2018

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Recruiting Made Easy

If you're a professional recruiter, or a Recruiter-in-Waiting, and you selected this article to read hoping to discover magical shortcuts or quick steps to filling your requisitions...stop reading NOW and proceed to another occupation!

FLASH! There ain't no short-cuts, helpful hints or secrets passed down from recruiter to recruiter on how to do the job and read a good book at the same time.

I could suggest methods of organizing the never-ending flow of paperwork so it would be easier for you to read-file-retrieve; or I could list 5 different ways to reject applicants while leaving them smiling and impressed by your tact and honesty; or I could throw out some unique (some would say off-the-wall) methods to recruit applicants...but then I'd have to come up with a new title for my article!

Experienced and competent recruiters have long been aware that selecting the right person (as defined by the hiring manager) to fit an existing job vacancy is good practice for playing Roulette in Las Vegas.

On an assembly line, the manufactured product is placed into an existing receptacle, which was built around the specific dimensions of the object. There are no variables or individual anomalies with manufactured products...Object A fits into Object B which are then both wrapped into Object C to be shipped out.

Attempting to fit an individual person into a pre-existing employment slot will often result in an assembly line shutdown. In spite of the fact that we go into the process knowing that each person is an individual with different skills, talents, thoughts, emotions, likes and dislikes, the major challenge in recruiting has, and probably always will be, placing the existing 'product' into a pre-manufactured 'receptacle'. This is tough and usually very time consuming.

Many recruiter wannabes are cognizant of just portions of what the job entails, and this was confirmed, again, a couple of months ago when I wrote an article on the advantages of telephone screening for recruiters, which triggered a number of emails (all positive).

One was from a reader who had two years of recruiting experience and wanted my opinion as to whether she was in the right profession. She listed her strong points: creative thinking, problem solving, and solution architecturing - all of which she enjoys. But, she noted that she is adverse to: administrative, process-driven, detailed, meticulous work and the tediousness of the process.

My response: "I wish I could give you some positive input about how to recruit without 'administrative work, process-driven procedures and detailed, meticulous functioning'...but I can't. If there is a method for recruiting in this manner, no one has shared it with me."

I reminded her that the recruiting process is dealing with PAPER (requisitions), PAPER (posting notices of vacancy) and more PAPER (letter to State Employment Office listing vacancies and brief requirements, ads for the classified section in the newspapers, in-house applications in response to the posting notices, and applications when candidates are called in for their preliminary interview, etc.)

The paperwork generates the necessity for Recordation, Retention and Retrieval of all information applicable to each applicant, who triggers additional paperwork of his own - interview evaluations by the recruiter and hiring manager/supervisor which can morph into a Request to Hire, Offer Letter, Police Check, Drug Screening, Reference Checking, New Hire forms and so on and so on.

In summary, the email sender disliked many of the primary requirements for employment as a professional recruiter, and was aware of this disparity enough to ask for another opinion. (If you're afraid of water, there should be no doubt that you would skip over Diver as a potential occupation.)

While there are no easy ways to interview and hire, admittedly that are some practices which make the process easier, such as

  • Enhance, or acquire, excellent organizing skills. (It's as easy as labeling folders A to Z)

  • Don't rely on memory or scraps of paper on which to write notes. Have a notebook or tablet in which you list all pertinent data about each applicant (on separate pages). Include all activities from pre-screening interview through date of hire.

  • If your company doesn't have a check-off list of all action items involved after an applicant accepts a job offer, design your own. When dealing with a dozen or more open reqs, it's very easy to lose track of who has been drug screened and reference checked.

Remember to smile. YOU will be the first and most memorable introduction to your company. Would you be impressed by you?

-Sonya Rolls
Sonya Rolls has been in Human Resources management for more than 20 years, in a variety of environments including engineering, medicine, psychiatric hospital, manufacturing, banking and university.