Hi everyone,

 

I'm a long-time reader and first time participant. I'm a recent university graduate and I've always been interested in HR and recruitment so I am currently completing a post-graduate college program in HR Management. If studying various aspects of HR over the last few years has taught me anything, it's that recruitment should hardly be considered an HR function and I've also come to understand headhunters' reluctance to work with HR folks.

 

With that in mind, I've made the decision that I want to get into third-party recruitment and have spent the last few months doing as much research as possible. But I'm wondering what I can do between now and May (when I graduate) to best position myself for success when I do eventually enter the field? Similarly, what are the best things I can work on to include on my resume as I start job hunting. Would it be phone skills? Networking? Time management?

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and I look forward to getting to know you. Thanks!

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Roland-

     I can't pass this one up! You'll chuckle but I'm sincere...learn to sell something to someone that they don't want, don't need, can't afford, and would never use! The following was a piece I wrote for a publication a couple years ago. Maybe it will help you-

               Selling Yourself…in Today’s Market

        There are tens of thousands, soon perhaps millions of people who will suddenly learn they no longer have a job. The travesty occurring both in the US and abroad, isn’t so much that it didn’t need to happen, but looking at how to help those for whom it happened.  

       The termination of a person’s job rarely allows for the emotion and clarity to answer the question asked by the formerly employed person, “what will I do now?” Few business experiences can match the collective range of negative feelings felt by all concerned. 

        Some companies to their credit send those former employees to a form of outplacement for rehab/retraining/counseling that unfortunately doesn’t really address the most critical component needed by the person at the moment! The component needed is a clear understanding of how to improve the person’s self-image, and give the individual a better sense of self-worth to get the next job.

        The first sale made in any sales presentation is the salesperson selling him/herself to the prospect. The same process holds true in a first interview for a new job. People have got to like you, trust you, believe you, and understand you. A learned skill is learning how to tell the right story, to the right person, in the right way, at the right time, with the right attitude. And simultaneously understanding that it’s not what you say to someone…but how you say it! These last five words are really the key…every job applicant has to realize that everyone’s a salesperson, including them! 

        It’s true that virtually everyone over eighteen years of age has, at one time or another, bought something from someone, that they didn’t want, didn’t need, couldn’t afford, and wouldn’t use! That enlightening experience has lead a vast majority of people to have a negative opinion when first confronting their next salesperson, and moreover, has reinforced their own wish to never be seen as a salesperson! Two truths however are unavoidable: nothing happens until someone sells something, and secondly, the most single important sale you will ever make is you!    

--Al Merrill, 2009

Hi Roland,

You may not like my answer much, but I'm going to pass on advice that was given to me when I was in your shoes. I called a search firm when I was about to graduate as they were hiring recruiters. The fellow I interviewed with gave me invaluable advice which was, "we don't hire fresh graduates. You might be great at this, but we feel it's important for a recruiter to have real world business experience, preferably sales, before they enter the recruiting field." 

 

It was great advice because frankly, it's hard for someone right out of schoo who hasn't worked in the business world full time to relate to candidates unless they've been in their shoes. I would advise you to get a job in sales, almost any kind of sales for at least a few years. That's what I did, and it's a great foundation for our business which as a third party recruiter is a sales position. I sold advertising, an intangible, and after that, recruiting seemed easy!  It's obviously not easy....but my point is that sales experience will give you a great foundation to build on.

 

Good luck!

Pam

Hi Roland - glad you asked! :)

1. Realize that the skill sets required to be successful in HR have very little to do with what it takes to make it in Recruiting.

2. Get a job as a telemarketer.

Welcome Roland.

 

I have been in the industry since 1999 and I will also advise you to get a sales job.  You want to join an organisation and learnt the sales process.  Learn how to prepare 'scripts' for making cold call and learn to be tough when selling on the phone.  It will be a bonus if the job requires you to do client visits.

 

If you want, sign up with a temp agency and see where the agency will send you. Don't be afraid to accept work assignments.  You will learn what the candidates go through and learnt about the client's expectation.  It will greatly benefit you in the future even though you don't see yourself as a temp recruiter in your near future.  

 

The bottom line is that you have to know how to sell and how to deliver excellent customer service.  Good luck.

My first "real" job was temping inside a staffing agency, I covered the front desk while their coordinator was out on maternity leave. After a few weeks of watching recruiters go home in tears I swore to myself I would never work in such a crazy business and ran for the hills when they offered me a full time job at another office.

 

What can I say it grew on me... I am curious though Roland - why do you want to be a TPR? I don't know anyone who got here on purpose! :)

Al - That's an excellent read and a message that I think my peer group especially often forgets. Thank you.

 

Pam and Raphael - You make an excellent point. I've never considered temping as a way of understanding the candidate experience so that is something I will definitely look into.

 

Amy - I got talking to a headhunter at an event I attended a couple years ago and I instantly had a million questions for her so I went home and tried to learn as much as I could. I guess I'm drawn to the unpredictable nature of the job and that you have to be smart and good with people to be able to deliver results. I like the idea of being the only one in charge of my success. Let me know when I start sounding too starry-eyed ;)

PS - Loved your appearance on the Animal Show!

I find that completely acceptable lol it's the starry eyed "I just love people!" types I worry about! :)

 

Oh yes Animal Show was tons of fun...thank you glad you enjoyed it! hey maybe you should go on there and defend your decision to be a headhunter!

Roland Kuehn said:

Al - That's an excellent read and a message that I think my peer group especially often forgets. Thank you.

 

Pam and Raphael - You make an excellent point. I've never considered temping as a way of understanding the candidate experience so that is something I will definitely look into.

 

Amy - I got talking to a headhunter at an event I attended a couple years ago and I instantly had a million questions for her so I went home and tried to learn as much as I could. I guess I'm drawn to the unpredictable nature of the job and that you have to be smart and good with people to be able to deliver results. I like the idea of being the only one in charge of my success. Let me know when I start sounding too starry-eyed ;)

PS - Loved your appearance on the Animal Show!

Hi Roland,
You might see if you can talk to several of the recruiting firms in your area about coming into their office to "job shadow" one of their recruiters for a few days a week as your time permits. Watch and listen to what really goes on.

Another thought is check with your university about the possibility of working as a recruiter for the school. Don't know if they do in Canada but in this part of the world the colleges all have paid recruiters who visit high schools to recruit for the university. A good place to sell something you know something about right now.

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