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Today’s recruiters go by many names. They are called sourcing specialists, talent acquisition managers, hiring specialists, recruiting generalists or any of several other terms. Regardless of the job title, the task at hand is the still the same: ensure that the right people are in the right place, whenever and wherever the company needs talented individuals to support their business goals.
Recruiters characteristically function as part of a human resources team, sourcing talent for an entire company or for certain assigned business units or hiring managers. Depending on the size and scope of the organization, recruiters may also have international duties.
Other recruiters work for staffing firms locating candidates for open positions at client companies. Recruiters can also choose to specialize in an industry, like healthcare or information technology, that demands strong knowledge of roles and responsibilities within a complex discipline or business sector.
Being a recruiter requires a multi-faceted skill set. On the surface, recruiters are “people persons.” However, to succeed in today’s workplace, they must also be able to analyze data, work within budgets, leverage sourcing technologies, market career opportunities, and help to create a positive candidate experience.
Recruiters manage the entire process – from receiving an open job requisition to finalizing an offer of employment. Depending on the size of an organization, they may also be responsible for onboarding new hires and assimilating them to the company. Recruiters are also busy even when jobs are not abundant, as they need to fill the “talent pipeline” for future hiring needs.
Technology, Talent, and Technique
Technology is central to any successful talent acquisition strategy. Recruiters should be able to mine candidate databases; search job boards for resumes; leverage professional talent networks, such as LinkedIn; maintain a brand-appropriate social media presence on Facebook and Twitter; and effectively post job openings online.
They must also have knowledge of recruitment marketing techniques. Recruiters need to understand where their target audiences look for career information, what sort of content potential employees are most interested in viewing, and how to engage candidates so that they take the next step and apply for employment.
Recruiters are ambassadors of a company’s “employer brand,” with accountability for sharing messages that are consistent with the organization’s culture and business goals. They must meet company expectations in all recruitment communications they broadcast to job seekers, as well as in the conversations they hold with candidates.
Good communicators make for good recruiters, particularly as most contact will occur via e-mail and phone. Some recruiters will have the opportunity to attend job fairs and career events to meet prospective candidates and sell them on available positions. They may also be assigned to visit college campuses in search of up-and-coming talent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 21 percent growth in all human resources specialties through the year 2020. The median wage for these positions is approximately $52,690 (2010 data), with the minimum of a bachelor’s degree required.
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) recommends a well-rounded curriculum that includes behavioral science, social science and liberal arts, along with a strong business concentration. Economics, labor law, marketing, management, and statistics are all important aspects of the human resources profession.
SHRM also champions advanced degrees, stating that “Master’s degrees in human resource management – whether a Master of Science in HR with coursework in industrial relations, organizational development, organizational behavior or other specialty, or a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in HR—are a vital part of preparation for an increasingly complex marketplace.”
A Final Note
The role of human resources continues to evolve as more companies realize the direct connection between people and profit. Previously relegated to a desk behind the scenes, human resources professionals now have a seat at the executive table. CEOs have come to view the discipline as being pivotal to the overarching success of organizations that want to compete effectively in today’s business marketplace.
Laura Mingo writes in the field of higher education. This article aims to offer career advice for university students in relation to human resources management and promotes the benefits of advanced study regarding an online master’s in human resources management.
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