Organizing the recruitment spectrum
During my time in recruitment, I became plainly aware of how many designations in my job are created without any thought implied into categorizing it, in an organized and structured field where names correspond to different career and career paths in the recruitment\HR field of work.
Oh. By the way and big warning if you didn’t saw — it’s gonna be a big wall of text with possibly some typos along the way.
This is by far, an outreach to at least promote a discussion on an overlooked topic. So, here’s my take on how recruitment is organized and how we should see it. This is an opportunity to initiate a dialogue and I want to start by dividing them right away. There are the following recruiters and recruiter roles:
- Agency (Headhunters/Consultant/Freelance) Recruiter;
- Internal Recruiters (Onsite Recruiter; In-House Recruiters);
- Talent Acquisition (Technician/Specialists).
A Sourcer, usually, but erroneously, named as a junior recruiter or other entry level jobs, has the job of sourcing the web in search of the ideal candidate for that particular job. They are usually armed with multiple extensions to search for candidates contact number\email, access to various social platforms, and also pass the time creating either spreadsheets or populating your applicant tracking system with a healthy pipeline of prospects that might interested.
The key for a sourcing career is constantly be ahead of the market in terms of tools and networks and also keep a healthy contact with people and establishing a good presence online.
Beamery in their best practices recruitment infographic approaches this by automatically separating both recruiters and sourcers into two different categories. For the sourcers its not only to grab candidate profile and align them with a job but also understand their interest.
Big companies in Europe, to accommodate a high volume of output in terms of recruitment and make work efficient became, in the past years, very obvious to the mindset of creating a structure to accommodate sourcers (both entry level and proficient), both in agencies and also in product companies (and other similar fields that require such need).
You can check something similar in terms of structure (see image below) is being created.
An Agency (or Consultant/Freelance) Recruiter is usually someone who comes from a extremely present agency/freelance background. They are characterized by dealing with harsh deadlines but overpricing the candidates that they sell as this will give them a bigger margin, this is a business after all. One thing to underline here is that this is possibly the most stressful of all of the recruiters due to the lack of information from clients, the difficulty of getting candidates from the get-go and coordinating both ends to make sure both sides are happy.
There are two types of conducting recruitment for an agency:
- With the use of best practices: Where shortlists are consisted in 1–2 candidate that are exactly what the client is looking for and consist on a easy process all around. These candidates are usually engaged early and put passively on a pipeline whereas the agency recruiter changes hats and becomes a sort of agent for that particular set of candidates.
- Rushed Processes: Disregarding some or all practices and launching ads both in the recruiters network and all of the possibly good candidates that has a match\similar match to the role you’re hiring. Usually these are the biggest sample in the market and give way to much of the stigma and head-aches of the possible candidates\markets they’re recruiting. These are also the ones who change to other areas (presented in this article) and without practices tarnish much of the candidate experience throughout processes made.
Regardless of which one you identify with, your core strengths are the speed on delivering candidates, providing somewhat fast results and gaining a steadfast knowledge on how to operate between the lines of recruiter, client, candidate and also, jumping around best recruitment practices, and their technical knowledge is observed to be below par and can be summed down to just simple buzzwords throughout their communication and also their first reach emails.
There is a perception gap is even more visible in the UK market as these roles are better perceived versus our next class — the internal recruiters.
Internal Recruiters are usually the gatekeepers of the company (and usually enemies of the previous recruiters). These recruiters have a longer deadline and can establish an extremely good rapport with the candidates better than the agency recruiters. Moreover, they usually have a wider range of tools at their disposal — depending on the spending allocated to the team. Recruitment best practices and area knowledge should be higher than normal here and would put their criteria on the candidate journey (although that is not always the case).
In a way, not only they are usually more concerned with the quality and impact that they might have in the teams, while still working numbers to fill, they’re also under a (usually) healthy recruitment plan throughout the year instead of working from client to client to fill and working in waves of recruitment. The core strengths is that they’re are mindful on how the deadlines are managed and how things are done in the recruitment scene. They usually have a voice on the decision and can establish (shorten or expand) the deadlines of the recruitment.
There is also the company branding aspect — this is mildly disregarded by the previous roles and something with a great importance for the recruitment department of a company as it will impact the image perceived from people who might not have heard from them or change the already image perceived from the impacted working culture. They usually work with\around Marketing to coordinate and establish the company positioning and making sure that there is an effective way to reach to the desired community.
In sum, they have limited sourcing time as they mostly manage recruitment numbers and give estimations for the growth of the company timeline but also impact in the company branding events perceived outside (and inside) of the company.
A Talent Acquisition Role [TAS], which for me, is considered a bit of everything said here before. TAS are always trying to keep a step ahead of the recruitment scene and understand how the market is unfolding on the area and where to attract and obtain the best candidates.
They’re focused not only in internal recruitment process, while dealing with the candidates and the hiring managers akin to the agency recruiters (but without the restraints), they’re also the spokesperson for the company image — everything that happens in the recruitment \ candidate experience bounds to him. Not only that but the TAS should be aware of sourcing practices and should occasionally help in pushing new candidates through and engage them directly. Moreover, the presence of TAS in Events is crucial to make him\her branding get know and to network as much as possible, not only in professional events but also academic ones.
Candidates can understand when they’re being dealt with a TAS due to the nature of the communication and the knowledge of their past and\or the knowledge of the product they’re representing. Their technical knowledge is well above par of what you usually see in the market and they can filter most of the candidates that are usually just “enriching their Profiles\CV’s for the sake of it” and those who truly are what they write.
Aside from this, the TAS can also delve into in-depth analytics and defends him\herself with reports and knowledge from hiring to how the market works. Not only this but you also have the knowledge of pushing deadlines according to how the flow of the market is currently vs the road-map established (much like internal recruitment)
Geographically, TAS can also work internationally throughout other branches of the company and can assist in decision making on a certain candidate without forcefully drive the candidate through.
My registry might put them as a big deal, but unfortunately they have big downfalls as they usually dispersed into a single trait of the above and don’t stick to others due to lack of time; sometimes there are even the reversal where they try to do all at once and get crushed by the tasks at hand dropping the candidate experience thoroughly to the ground as cases I’ve witnessed (and also suffering a harsh lesson myself).
In conclusion, we can definitely see a growth of recruitment branches nowadays and people throwing different names around for the same thing which ultimately leads to confusion and misunderstandings. This occurs a lot when you have a need in the market but you don’t really know what you want, and no planning is made in that regard.
This articles serves to underline these names and, as said before, delve deep into a discussion on how these should be placed and how these should be handled, not only in career pathway but also specializations of these classes that are now spreading un-categorized and in need of sorting.
So, to promote a conversation, what is your take on it? Should we start using such a categorized way to understand what is what? And should the recruitment planning involve these branches or keep them closely nit so everyone can work in the same form?