“No one goes to college to become a Recruiter.”
If you are in the Recruiting industry, you hear industry professionals saying this ALL the time.
Though this is acknowledged widely in the industry, there is a very real question that continues to go unacknowledged: So now that we have so many professionals entering our industry (especially entry level talent!), how are we going to continue growing, developing, and retaining them?
Like many others, I found myself falling into the Recruiting profession. My college graduation from the University of Washington approached back in 2010, historically one of the worst years to be entering the job market since the recession. I had fully intended on pursuing a career as a journalist at the time, but when a few realities came full circle for me, I began to explore other options. After going through MANY interviews with recruiters, the lightbulb finally went off: All the recruiters who had been interviewing me for jobs were essentially the journalists of the corporate workplace. They called candidates to investigate them, see if they were buzz worthy enough to bring in for an onsite, and eventually, to actually be hired.
“I already knew how to interview people, I would be GREAT at that!” I remember thinking to myself.
Fast forward six years later, I’ve learned A LOT about recruiting, and have a newfound appreciation and love for our industry. The once bright-eyed recent Communications graduate in me now understands that hiring top talent (especially for world class companies with extremely high hiring bars in Silicon Valley) is far more complicated than just finding the right candidate to interview. There are so many different factors to consider: passive candidate sourcing, diversity hiring, employment branding, negotiation tactics …the list really goes on and on.
I have always been a naturally curious person. I haven’t been afraid to jump around, or to explore new companies, roles, industries, because in order to grow, you have to try new things. Ever since I started out recruiting, I made a decision to be intentional about getting very different types experience in order to become “well-rounded” in the industry, but most importantly, to really discover what I love doing. Thanks to contracting, in a short period of time I have had the opportunity to dabble in companies of all shapes and sizes. Earlier on, I spent some time on the Agency side within a very small boutique firm, truly falling in love not only with the thrill that went into finding passive candidates, but also of cold calling and the business development piece that comes with working in a small staffing agency. In my four years of corporate recruiting, I have had the pleasure of hiring for two of the world’s most well-known technology companies. I have also worked in a start-up and gone through an acquisition with them, learning more than I could’ve ever expected to (and not just from a recruiting point of view).
With all of this behind me after six years as a Talent Acquisition professional, there are a few areas where from my perspective our profession really needs to get it’s act together in order to continue growing developing and retaining the Recruiting professionals of tomorrow:
- Increases in Quality Training. Learning by doing is no longer good enough. We need to put more time into training new recruiters, not just in basics like sourcing, but on all the educational techniques that really go into being a talent advisor. Attending the occasional webinar = not good enough.
- More certainty around Metrics. Whether it is referencing a number of hires, or a hiring retention percentage, recruiters need to have a better understanding of not only their own personal hiring metrics, but also their companies. Using data in conversations with hiring managers is important, impactful, and numbers don’t lie in determining where hiring challenges lie.
- Promotions. When is someone truly ready to become an Agency Recruiting Manager? A Corporate Recruiting Manager? A Head of Talent at a startup? A Lead or Senior Recruiter? Given that the definition of what makes a “successful” recruiter is so ambiguous in our industry, the topic of why certain people are getting promoted over others is obviously an issue. Are people having access to the same opportunities? Probably not. Across the board the only consistency I have seen in our industry in this area has been inconsistent.
- More open discussions on how our skills transfer. Some people want to stay in Recruiting forever, others…not so much. Sales is obviously an easy transition for anyone looking for a change, particularly to a recruiting tool companies. But what about providing more encouragement to find their way into other professions or even co-found companies, whether inside or outside of the industry!
- An increase in professional Recruiting Associations. In many parts of the US and the world, we do not have professional associations where recruiting professionals can gather, exchange ideas, network, and learn from industry thought leaders. I have been lucky enough to be an active member of NWRA in Seattle early in my career and recently Co-founder the Silicon Valley Recruiters Association. SVRA is a professional organization established to serve those in the recruiting profession as a gathering for networking, education, and sharing industry best practices in a non-competitive environment.
The Silicon Valley Recruiters Association will be holding our next event on 1/20 at Daqri to discuss this exact topic. We have an awesome panel in place, from senior level Heads of Talent to Founders of successful staffing firms, to discuss their personal journeys within the recruiting profession, what has made them successful, and sharing advice for how to effectively reach your professional goals. Come discover your #recruitingjourney with #SVrecruiters !
Space is limited, so please RSVP soon. We look forward to seeing you on 1/20!