Recruitment or Career Consulting ?

IMG_20150309_213134 editedStaffing industry is one of the fastest growing industry in ITES world. Despite of recession in US and economic slowdown in some parts of the growing economies the Staffing industry still managed to weather the storm. Some of the major Staffing firms posted some brilliant performance on the cards and heading towards exploding numbers in future. However, staffing industry, like others, is not immune to downfall or dangers. With dwindling margins and cut throat competition from the established Service Providers, the industry has always been running on “Quick and The Dead” model. As governments make it easier for SME business to start up their own business, most of the prospective entrepreneurs find Staffing as the first destination to enter into the ITES space. This has made staffing firms to crop up in all sectors from ancillary to SME and sometimes large scale. While MSP(Managed Service Providers) take the major share in providing the staffing services for some of the Fortune 500 companies, yet there is always enough room for new players to take their share of cake.

We will be amazed to know that some of the best recruitment for IT Companies are done by a recruiters working for a measly salary in a low lit dingy apartment. Some of them don’t even hold a formal degree and even if they do then the chances are that it may not be a technical degree. So how could this economic imbalance has crept up. When MSPs charge their clients with exuberant rates per hire whereas small companies who deliver efficiently are not even allowed to talk to procurement managers. Is the IT industry not receptive for equal opportunity ? Does the corporate lack the ability to objectively evaluate their vendors ? Why are procurement managers so inaccessible even in this digital age where personal details remains no more personal. Why should we shut doors for service providers who are young, energetic and competitive ?

Partly that could be because of the volume of companies that are entering into staffing business. Managers are finding it difficult to really measure and evaluate the ability of a firm if they could meet the quality standards of the Organization. Currently companies are following balance scorecard to evaluate the existing vendors and I hope it may not be too far that a similar methodology shall be applied to examine the new comers. Eventually the industry has to embrace small players as they tend to be more accessible, receptive for change and economical. So what happens when Staffing giants and small firms, working in a garage, compete ? What is the differential value when the quality of hire remains the same. This is where we go to our Heading of this Topic. The answer will be Career Consulting.

A typical work life of a recruiter(in any firm) is to get a requirement from Hiring Managers, understand it and start looking for individuals from various sources like Job Portals, Social Networking and in some cases Cold Calling. Once they get the interested candidate they send him for interviews and if he gets selected then bingo, he gets an incentive, company gets the revenue and hopefully the client would have got an employee. And usually there ends the matter.

What if the candidate finds the job uninteresting or his contract ends ? How many recruiters see how the career progression of the consult is ? Can recruiters just be a messenger of job opportunities and sustain in the corporate world. I think, regardless of the size of the company, recruiters should take the task of career consulting. This means they should have a holistic understanding of various industries and professions, they should have the ability to evaluate the consultant’s talents and understand their aspirations. A recruiter should counsel, advise and guide the job seekers to their suitable careers.

Career Consulting is nothing new and it has been there since very old time. In olden days young men were sent to various sports and mind games conducted by the King and each individual’s specialty is understood by their performance at different events. More robust and strong men are sent for physical work and the one with intellectual abilities were retained for advisory roles. However, this didn’t restrict them from changing their professions. In history we have seen some of the best intellectuals participated in wars and some warriors being exemplary artist. Similarly, it is up to the individual to aspire any career or job. However, with hiring practices getting more complex and sometimes irrational so a counselor with superfluous understanding of industries will be helpful for aspirants in reaching their career goals.

In fact this has an economic value too. The very growing technology has left the professions more intertwined and inter-dependent. There is hardly any profession where it works on the absolute knowledge of a single faculty. That means a civil engineer is expected to know computers or doctor should know finances. So the paradox is that the enthusiastic individuals are more qualified with multiple degrees with no jobs or employed specialists are not abreast with the changing business models. This leaves a great confusion and opportunity for Staffing companies to step in and help the professionals in finding the right job or the career. Since the volume is more this can be done at a price and making it as an economy.

So when staffing companies invest in creating Center of Excellence to provide career guidance they will be eventually setting up a long term and sustained presence in Human Resources domain.

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