A leading US human capital consultant is urging in-house recruiters to improve their professional development by taking a new look at how front-line practitioners’ jobs are designed.
If recruiters continue to focus primarily on processes and targets, the sector will fail to develop leaders capable of moving into the highest levels of business, Joe Shaheen, managing director and senior consultant, of Human Alliance, has warned.
“Recruiting as a profession is not ready to produce leaders unless major structural shifts take place,” Shaheen told Recruiter recently. “If you’re a VP [vice president] of recruiting, you’re stuck there. You don’t go into another function, not traditionally.”
Elaborating, Shaheen explained: “Every recruiter has to do process-oriented things. But if you’re going to develop your recruiters, you have to design their job spec so there is a component that allows them to play, to think creatively — like to come up with new ideas and initiatives, even if it’s 5% of their time.”
“Most of today’s recruiters are doing just 100% recruiting. There is no opportunity for any type of growth, and that is the truth.”
Examples of ways to diversify the work experience include job rotation, and designing role specialities which are not based only on “what it is they’re recruiting for or what division or what location”, he said. “Mix it up. Give them opportunities for leadership early on. Let them have something that they own.”
Shaheen also proposed having recruiters shadow various roles within their organisation. Shadowing can deepen understanding of the business itself, improve skills in recruiting into particular jobs and open recruiters’ eyes to capabilities they would need to advance.
He summarised by saying: “The jump between the recruiting suite to the C-suite is a deep understanding of the business. I think sometimes we don’t have that. You can no longer look only at talent.”