Several months ago I was looking for some recruiting training opportunities, and I ran across a few promising offerings. I ended up not pursuing those for a variety of reasons, but I recently had an experience that gave me a different perspective on the subject.
I recruit often for helicopter pilots. It’s fun, interesting, but also tough (these guys usually aren’t hanging out at the employment office). I’ve always thought it would be fun to take a ride in a Black Hawk, but it’s not easy to do since the majority of them are government/military aircraft. However, a few months back a friend was able to secure a ride for me on a UH-60M, which is the model I most often recruit pilots to fly.
The ride, in short, was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to paricipate.
A more familiar example
My friend Michelle previously worked for a manufacturing company. A few days a month, the accounting and HR staff had to jump onto the line and help the workers get all of the work accomplished to meet their production quotas.
As the HR manager there, she learned just how important it is to ensure proper rest breaks, adequate safety measures, etc. The insights gleaned from those experiences made her a better recruiter and HR professional.
The question I have for you is how deep is your knowledge or understanding of the positions you recruit for? Can you at least carry on a conversation about the key concepts, or are you lost without another person as a translator?
My initial learning curve
It’s more embarrassing to not ask a question and look like an idiot than to ask the question and get an answer. At least that’s my philosophy, anyway. So when I started getting open requisitions for positions like “provisioners” and “UH-60M instructor pilots,” I started asking questions.
- What does a _____ do?
- What are a few keywords that I should look for in a resume?
- What sort of background prepares someone to be good at this job?
- How do you tell if someone is qualified or not?
Based on those answers, I can at least do a good preliminary review and find some qualified people. I’m still not qualified to do a full technical review of the person’s skills and abilities, but that’s why we allow technical people to participate in interviews! I think what helps me to do well as a recruiter is not necessarily my technical knowledge, but just being excited about the company, the work, and the people.
I’d encourage you to dig in and learn what you can about your employees’ jobs. You never know when that information will help you relate to them in a meaningful way or enhance your recruiting abilities.
While I totally agree that recruiters need to know something about the job they’re recruiting for, I’ve always been a little unsure about the practice of “jumping onto the line.” If I was a line worker, I’d be a little insulted that someone with no training thought they could hop in and do my job as well as I do. Has that ever come up as a problem, and if so, how do you avoid that?