Recruitment is no easy task. Period. A critical aspect of the ‘HR’ or ‘People’ function in most large organizations, recruitment is at best, misunderstood, and at worst, derided.

In my experience, the value of the recruitment function by business leaders has gone up tremendously when due to some organizational changes, they’ve had to manage the function directly for some time. Once they get ‘ownership’ of the function and are responsible for the performance (or lack thereof!), they get involved in the operations and dig deeper to understand the underlying modalities. That’s when they realize that recruitment is indeed challenging.

Completely driven by market realities and constrained by a hugely ‘laissez-faire’ economy in which organizations do battle for business and talent, recruitment requires one to be creative, resilient and target-oriented all at once.

There’s a job description that details out the competencies, knowledge, experience and skills required. A compensation range to operate within. And stringent timelines, which almost always, mention ‘Resource required as of yesterday’! So, how does one operate successfully as a recruitment leader?

While there will not be a magic mantra, the below will certainly help in ensuring that a recruitment leader is successful is meeting his delivery goal:

  1. Business Understanding – in depth understanding of business to be able to not only hire, but also guide the hiring managers with appropriate talent landscape understanding
  2. Strategic Planning – ensuring that pro-active pipeline of candidates is created and/ or relevant talent pool sources tapped at the appropriate time
  3. Creative Solutioning– to augment hiring pools via ‘out-location hiring’, ‘train-and-hire’ models, third party staffing, etc.
  4. Building strong partnerships – to source candidates from diverse sources including vendor partners, online media, campuses, etc.
  5. Create a strong and motivated team – Nothing succeeds like a well-knit team that works towards a goal. Ensuring the team is charged up and enjoys the rigour of recruitment is probably the most important element in this mix!

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This successful streak needs to repeat week after week, month after week. A Bollywood star’s value is only as high as the fate of his/her last box office release. In much a similar fashion, a recruitment leader is considered only as good or as bad as his/her last delivery. So, it’s on this account that I salute all recruitment leaders who unknowingly play the role of a ‘Hero’ in their organization, taking the brickbats at times, and the applause at others.

It is, indeed, a tough life. What’s your take?

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