I am an evolutionist. I love seeing things evolve, people, places, teams and functions. Looking back to 2002 (yep, all that way) when I first landed into the world of in-house Recruitment, it's interesting to see how things have changed as much as they have stayed the same.
I went in-house for the same reasons of many, I hated the agency land, whilst I enjoyed the cut and thrust as I am a competitive bugger, I struggled with the closing and ended up hating the fact that no matter how we dressed it up, or changed our titles from Account Managers to Consultants etc, it was still hard core sales. I struggled to come to grips with the worlds perception of what I did and it clouded my own perception of myself, my self worth. After having a good trot with one agency (5 Agency years, I think that is 30 normal human years), and a couple of false starts in a few others, I landed a job inhouse. Thinking it will be a cruisey way to ply my trade without the fear of those daily stand up meetings answering "Have you made 50 calls today?" "How many new roles?" "How many client visits?" "How many submissions have you made?""How many interviews have you scheduled?" and of course "How much MONEY have you billed today?"
I thought it (the in-house) role would be all the things I loved about this job function without all the shit that goes with it in Agency land. Sadly, I found that in-house roles came with their own brand of shit to deal with.
It was a function viewed as a subservient part of a glorious HR realm. A poor cousin if you would. It was something that the HR people thought they knew how to do, just didn't want to lower themselves to actually participate in the activity. They had more important things to deal with like, L&D, OH&S, Remuneration surveys, and writing policies! (I remember someone in an HR team actually saying "I'm not here to talk to the people, I'm here to do HR!") However, they were happy to give their 2 cents (OK a little more) on how to do it. Multiple lessons in egg sucking did occur.
On top of this, is was still near impossible to escape the tainting that being an Agency Recruiter gave me, even in-house. I was still known as "Agency Dan" (and no I don't think it was for my great skills and winning smile!) behind my back.
That role did transform, and I've noticed the evolution happening throughout the market, as the importance of your incoming talent increases. I hear GE just hired 30-40 Recruiting people for a centre of excellence in Melbourne, that's got to tell you something!
With that evolution, comes more responsibility, more roles to play within an organisation. The advent of Social Media, I feel has begun to transform the role once more.
4 areas largely impacted or bolted onto the role now seem to be:
Formulating, internal and external succession plans. Building and maintaining an engaged (had to say that word, sorry) talent pool, not just a mailing list. I've seen Recruiters being involved in spotting companies for acquisition, I've seen Recruiters being the person "on Point" for the company when looking at moving into a new geographic region, exploring the market and the main players in it. (Not sure any of these things would have happened 10 years ago.
This is the tough one. There is now a blurred line between the two areas. The term Employment Brand versus Corporate brand has really put this into focus for most Recruiting functions. The realisation (in some companies) that any external marketing has an effect on Recruitment has changed the landscape. 10 years ago, who would have thought about having Recruitment have a say in the website development (apart from the tiny careers page) ? Who would have seen the Financial Controller/CFO have to include input from the Recruitment department in the making of the Annual Report? But we do now! These are things that the discerning candidate will check.
Again, the rise and rise of social media has seen the need for Recruiters to start dabbling here. Messages about your company, your brand can come from anywhere within or outside your company. Who keeps tabs on this? Away from products, most things mentioned on forums etc are employment based. "This person is crap to work with" "Their Recruitment process sucks, they never got back to me" "stupid test" "they have no idea" "I heard they lost their Microsoft accreditation" As a Recruitment department you have to be across this. The messaging going out impacts our lives as Recruiters, the messaging will change perceptions of what we are going to market with. We need to be inserted into the planning.
Entrepreneurial or Future facers
With technology streaming ahead, there is an imperative to keep upto date with what is going on. To evaluate what will and what won't work for you. Getting an edge, could help you out do your competitors, or vice versa. You need to be trialling new things, have you trialled video interviewing? Sourcing from Facebook or YouTube? Is your ATS upto scratch? Whilst I agree with the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I love a bit of tweaking. You need to have some flair, take a risk, see if it works for you and your company. Are you looking to the future and assessing what trends could mean for your company and your workforce? What does outsourcing or insourcing mean for your company? What does the increase in virtual teams or working from home mean for you? Is there an implication for your company with the well documented "ageing workforce" and the impending rise of Gen Y or millenials? Does BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Cloud technologies have an impact on your business and the way you work, and thus what you can offer a workforce? These are all thoughts a Recruiting function should be considering. 10 years ago, I wasn't aware of it happening, even in the agency field. Do you as a Recruiting leader have the support within your business to be able to make mistakes?
I can see how in large companies this could be a political mine field, blurred lines of responsibility, lots of autographs to get to get something done. But in smaller companies, without these restrictions these are growth areas for the "Recruiter". Do we have the skills to handle it? Can they be learned easily? Can we break out of our own moulds and embrace it? I'm excited! Are you?