21st century recruiting

Career Path – Crucial To Recruiting

I think most recruiters understand that candidates want to know about a career path beyond whatever requisition we are hiring them into, but it continues to surprise me how few recruiters partner with HR on issues like career trajectory, succession planning, and even the fundamentals of *understanding* the career path for any of the positions we are recruiting on. I also cannot believe how many companies do not *think* to involve recruiting on headcount forecasting and career path planning.

I recently worked with a candidate that had two offers for the same type of software engineering position. They were the same level and salary. He was really torn about which position was the right one. One would lead him to be a specialist and SME. The second option was more of a generalist, with a fair degree of direct customer contact. Finally, I asked him to think about a potential career path. Did he want to remain an individual contributor and go the architect route, or was he more a “big picture” kind of person, where he would consider going into program management, working with a lot of stakeholders on projects? Helping him think longer-term, beyond the two offers at hand put his career in perspective. He chose the customer-facing position.

This week I was contacted about referrals for “rock star” software engineering Sourcers for a very well-known media company. It sounded good until I saw that the career path was for advancement to a “junior recruiter”. So here is what I get from that: the company doesn’t have a career path for someone that is passionate about sourcing, and they probably don’t pay their sourcers enough money for amount of expertise they are looking for.

Retention is often a huge issue because there is no standardization inside a company for the “what next” or “what are my long term options” questions once a new employee is on-boarded. I’m tired of hearing how fickle GenY is, and that they lack loyalty. If we give them opportunities to grow and learn, they will be challenged and motivated and want to stay. They are no different than their GenX and Boomer counterparts in wanting a lucrative career path.

I don’t care how old a candidate is, knowing what options are available in 3-5 years is a normal part of the offer evaluation process. If your HR organization isn’t successful in this area, maybe you should consider making a business case for how this lack is impacting your ability to *attract* top talent.



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