Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Recruiters of the World Unite!!!

Great article today on ERE by Jeremy Eskenazi. Jeremy wrote on a subject that I've been thinking about quite a bit about lately, that Recruiting is a unique profession and as such deserves a higher profile than it has in most organizations. To win the War for Talent, you need well trained soldiers equipped with weaponry necessary to succeed. You need an effective strategy, you need effective and reliable means of communications, and most of all, you need talented recruiters who understand the essentials of successful Talent Acquisition.

All too often, I hear executives shout that 'Recruitment and Retention is our number 1 priority!' The recruitment function in every organization is responsible for one thing: Bringing highly competent new employees into the organization to make a positive impact on that organization's product, service, bottom line, mission, etc. If what we do is so critical, then why do we not have a higher profile in our organizations? Historically, our profession has been viewed as more of an administrative than a strategic function. We post the ad, send you the resumes, collect the application and process the hire. That view has been changing slowly over the past 10-20 years, but the right now primary responsibility for raising the profile of our profession lies with us.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my career, it is that Recruiters are for the most part Type A personalities who love to connect and collaborate. ERE, EMA, Blogs, local recruiter networks, etc. have all been positive means of facilitating a discussion around learning the basics and the best practices in our profession. Unfortunately, not enough people in our profession take advantage of these opportunities.

Even more so, we do very little to grow our own. Jeremy states that "for people who are new to staffing, this is often a stepping-stone on their way to somewhere else". There are also many in the profession who are 'Accidental Recruiters', who end up in the profession after starting their career somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against accidental Recruiters, many of them are some of the most talented Recruiters I know. My point is that in order to be a more established profession, we need to do a better job in promoting Recruiting as a desirable career in itself, a career that the best and brightest want to move into from Day 1.

I've heard talk about developing new Certifications for Recruiters, but I think the educational and development opportunities need to be more formalized and advanced than that. Could it be time for Business Schools to add Talent Acquisition as a concentration, putting it on equal footing with Accounting, Marketing, and Human Resources? That IMO could be the first step in the right direction.

Our profession undoubtedly suffers from an inferiority complex, as Jeremy tells us in his article today. I happened to suffer from that complex a bit myself. Jeremy states that "Recruiting experts should think of themselves as professionals". I agree, but let's not just think of ourselves as professionals, let's take more proactive steps to enhance the view that recruiting as a profession is one that is absolutely critical to the success of any organization.

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