Recruitment Reframed

I have recently joined the masses that are looking for work. It has been both a sobering and an enlightening experience as I come to terms with the recruitment process and my own demons.

This column is in two parts, firstly a bit of a rant on the current outsourcing of recruitment and then some ideas on how to reframe the whole recruitment experience into something meaningful and maybe even…pleasurable…

When did HR get so lazy? The last time I was looking at changing jobs (in 2008) you could still apply directly to the organisation. This time, most jobs seem to go through a gatekeeper, the recruitment company. Why would HR outsource one of its most important functions? Can you really trust someone else to screen applicants, particularly if it is for a specialist role? If people are the organisations’ most important asset wouldn’t HR take the time to own the end to end recruitment process?

Outsourcing is the way of the future I hear you say. Outsourcing serves organisations well when they are unable to provide the service internally but why outsource something you, as a HR practitioner, are qualified to deliver? HR Leader Magazine (August 30, 2010) provides a list of the pros and cons of outsourcing. The comment that organisational ‘processes need to be improved before outsourcing’ is relevant to recruitment and echoes the point of view taken by Kelly McGowan in an interview for B Talk Australia. McGowan, herself a recruiter, concedes that organisations often take a reactive approach to recruitment and the brief for the recruitment agency is to locate a candidate quickly to plug the hole. The agency then adopts a production line process and seeks to find the person who has the right wording on their CV (literally, as they sometimes use word matching software to sift through the many applications).

I have experienced this first hand during the beginning of my job search. I showed my CV to a recruitment consultant and was advised that it was too different and I needed to dot point key skills up front. Angela Lussier would have had a heart attack! I actually changed it and that was the beginning of my loss of power…more on that later.

So it has been established that HR and recruitment agencies might need to rethink their recruitment processes. You and I have no control over this – we can only live in hope. We do, however, have control over how we approach the job seeking market and the next section of this column is on that very topic.

One of the career related sites I love is Brazen Careerist and they recently offered an eBook called “Getting a Job”. It’s a quick read that provides hints from some of the coolest HR bloggers. I’ve synthesised the book for you in dot point below. Here’s what you need to do to get a job…

Get a mentor
Post your CV online
Figure out who you are – know what you value
Figure out what job you want – where do you fit
Up your EQ
Take control
Be happy
Remember job = income and there are other ways to obtain an income
Know your destination and pursue it with complete abandon

A great list! Consider these quotes from two of the authors of the eBook.

Peter Clayton

Recruiters search for and recommend passive candidates (ie people with jobs). They don’t help you find a job.

John Sumser

Jobs online = lottery ticket. You have a one in two hundred chance of getting the job.

I thought a lot about that list and those comments and I have decided that I need to reframe my recruitment search. Here’s what I now intend to do (I must acknowledge Deanna for some of these suggestions)

Get really clear on my values and passion
Get really clear on the organisation I want to work for
Visualise myself working there – my desk, the people around me, colours etc etc etc.
Visit the building, sit in the foyer, immerse myself in the environment
Send some unsolicited CV’s directly to the organisation
Use my network to source jobs
Take back all the power of job searching and really own the process

Here’s what I am going to stop doing

Applying for jobs through a recruitment agent
Allowing the recruitment agency to hold all the power

You have to believe in yourself and know that the right organisation is out there for you and they will be so happy when you find them!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 19:34:12

    Hey Judy – You are a gem! The right organisation will definitely be happy that you have found them!


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