Is Recruiting A Career?

The entry below is written by a fellow Intel colleague, Gary Qin. Based in Shanghai, Gary is a seasoned recruiter with nearly 8 years in executive search. He is currently developing a series of recruiting training programs designed to enhance competencies of in-house recruiters. Click on this link for Gary’s LinkedIn Profile.

Before we vote a simple Yes or No answer to the question, let’s have a look of the business world. We know great companies are made of great people. Outstanding business performances are delivered by great employees. So hiring the best and brightest employees is the very first vital step towards the success of a company and business.

Who is going to do this hiring job? By business nature, it is a side task for hiring managers, it may be a part of job for HR generalists in some organizations, but it is a full-time job for recruiters.

Recruiters are faced with daunting challenges today. The candidates are more sophisticated and well informed of various opportunities available and they become more selective towards the new job offer, if your opportunity is even in his/her consideration. On the other hand, the hiring managers become more demanding. The hiring manager wants the best employees faster and faster, and the organization is under pressure to cut down the overall hiring cost.

Increasingly, recruiters are dealing with more and more passive and hard-to-find candidates. They can no longer rely on traditional approach (job-posting, applicants, resumes, pass-on) and volume to meet demands. For some positions, fewer people apply, if any. For others, there are hundreds of applicants but found not suitable.

The recruiter has to source candidates via various channels and creative method for the hard-to-fill positions. Once locating the candidates, they have to convince them to apply and do the screening and assessing in a deeper manner than before and are held to higher quality standards. And this is just a half of the game, they have to sell through the candidates to the hiring managers and provide market intelligence to assist the hiring manager in making the right hiring decisions, let alone knowing labor law and government regulations, building up a talent pipeline by deploying technologies like Applicant Tracking System, Candidate Relationship Management system etc.

As you can see, recruiters are having a full plate today and there are higher expectations on recruiters than before. In doing effectively all recruiting activities and meeting business needs or at a higher level of winning the battle in the War for Talent, recruiters are required possessing business savvy, market knowledge, salesmanship, people skills and high level energy. Essentially, recruiters are asked to move from an administrative role, doing transaction work to a more strategic role and providing value-added service.

And ask ourselves another question. Why we use agencies or headhunters to hire people? In most cases, it is because these agency recruiters are seen as professionals. They are perceived as experts who have access to the right candidates. They are able to immediately respond to the hiring manager’s needs and deliver good results.

Having said all the challenges and hard work a recruiter faces, now let’s look at the flip side. The REWARD of being a recruiter or a great recruiter.

If you ask your headhunter friend or the like what the reward is of being a recruiter, based on individual experience, you may hear different answers. But the various personal experiences on the reward can be categorized to monetary and non-monetary.

You may be very surprised to hear that a savvy and high performance recruiter can make a very handsome seven figure income (RMB)in a good year when the market demand is high and earn a six figure income in a normal year. Someone may say “I feel great when the candidate I presented to the client is making great business impact to the organization.” Or someone may tell you it is fascinating to meet and get known and make friend with lots of interesting people with diversified background. Someone may share with you how flexible he/she can manage own work schedule and time in a day, a week and a month.

Probably the highest reward or job satisfaction of being a recruiter is the respect and reputation you can earn from both the candidates and hiring managers. You are regarded as a trusted career adviser by the candidates and a recruiting expert by the hiring manager. Candidates may come to you to seek advice for the next career move; hiring managers come to consult you for your comments and inputs for the position he/she has to fill.

Once you can comfortably handle all the recruiting challenges and activities and earn your recognition as an expert and consultant, you are in the business of recruiting. At this point, the recruiter is in a similar status like a CPA or lawyer. Don’t you think a CPA and lawyer a profession is a career worth pursuing?

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