the many hats of an internal recruiter

This happens to be the third part in an unplanned series on recruitment, as result of my huge focus on this area in my current role. As an HR generalist I’m not a fulltime Internal Recruiter – but just at the moment it sure feels like I am! And I should start by saying how much I’ve enjoyed the extreme focus on this area of my work and how much of an opportunity it’s been for me to learn, grow and hone my skills.

The first hurdle I faced was a lack of quality applicants. Working for one of the country’s leading media organisations this had never been a problem in the past, people were generally knocking on our doors to get in. Not so now. A complete overhaul of our processes revealed some pretty shocking results. Our print advertising was adhoc and design templates hadn’t been updated in years, online advertising on our own media products was non-existent, we had only two avenues for advertising the roles – neither of which created any sort of candidate experience. From there internal processes were equally dated, not to mention somewhat slapstick and downright lacking in other areas.

I started with us, the company. I put on my marketing hat and then realised rather than reinventing the wheel it was better to consult and work with the marketing department to build a careers page on our website to load all current vacancies to – this has turned out great, though is still a work in progress now we have a whole lot more ideas to add to it. I utilised social media to link back to our careers page for vacancies, build online awareness and showcase through insights what it’s like working inside our company. Through up-skilling myself in these avenues and in turn our current employees, we’re already seeing a substantial following I these avenues and direct applications for both specific roles and general interest in working for the company as a result.

I hit up processes next. Streamlining, reinventing and mandating these across the board. In the months since these have been in place I’m happy to report more cohesion in recruitment, and importantly a consistent and higher standard of new employee.

Hiring Managers, where to begin?! I’ve lost count of how many different hats I need for dealing with the differences in their personalities, requests, expectations, timeframes, changes, whims, quirks, requirements etc etc etc! Spending time with each of them to understand the reasons behind the hire, their view of an ideal candidate, expectations regarding interviewing and various timeframes is first port of call. Then tactfully making alternative suggestions to these as the case usually requires for at least one of these aspects, or being pleasantly surprised if not!

All in all it’s been a huge amount of change for our department, and as such has required a lot of change management to ensure buy in from all, but it’s most definitely a change for the better. I realise none of this is rocket science, and there will be internal recruiters out there thinking we’re still in the dark ages! We still have a VERY long way to go from refining and tweaking the work done to date, to really moving forward into the future with increasingly more robust and progressive recruitment and attraction methods all adding to and enhancing our candidate experience. Our is a very big old ship that takes a long time to turn around, so I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in a short space of time, and of the fruitful results we’re already seeing. There is as I say a lot more to do, and I’ll tackle it all one hat at a time.

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