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    By Christine Beck, Kaplan University
    Undergraduate Psychology, (Organizational Psychology) Adjunct Faculty

    So Whom Do We Recruit For? Just About Everyone Within the Businesses We Serve 

    In addition to working as an adjunct faculty member in the Undergraduate Psychology Department I am a recruiter for a prestigious university. People often ask me who I recruit for, and most often incorrectly assume it is only for professors and students. A university is like a small town in itself, with service workers (dining, maintenance etc.), administrative office workers, IT professionals, web designers, finance people, and everything in between! As recruiters we work on all of these positions. My role is part of the Human Resources Department, and we handle all staff positions (and none of the student or teaching recruitment actually!).

    Reviewing Candidates and the Job to Ensure It’s A Good Fit 

    On a day-to-day basis, I meet with candidates in person or speak with them on the phone, discussing their background and how it may relate to the open positions I am working on. As we talk, I evaluate their related experience, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and overall fit within the organization. Once we move through an interview process, I review salaries to make sure we are offering something fair and in line with other employees both inside and outside the university. I submit their information for background checks, check references, explain benefits, and lead new hire orientations.

    While a big part of my role is working with job seekers, I also work very closely with the hiring managers to understand their needs when a position is open. It is a very consultative process which includes conversations about current needs, future needs, the culture of the office, the desired skills of the incoming person, and what sort of experience will best fit their organization. Often managers want to fill a position with the same type of person who was in it before, but it is our job to educate them on the benefits of having a diverse search. 

    One of the things I hear most about my job is that people are surprised I know how to hire for a position I don’t actually work in. I tell them it doesn’t matter! My role is really to assess that they have the related experiences and can fit the culture and expectations of the university. Managers or colleagues who these people will work for and with can help assess the more technical or job specific aspects. People also ask me if I’m afraid someone we hire won’t work out. That definitely happens, but it happens to anyone. We try to keep the recruitment and interview process collaborative, between our recruiters and the departments, to avoid this.

    Busy and Fast Paced Are Part of the Job but Also Is the Reward of Offering Someone an Opportunity They’ve Been Waiting For 

    My job is very busy, fast paced, extremely scheduled, and different every day. While I spend most of my day on the phone or talking to people in my office, there is always administrative work to catch up on! Whether is reviewing reports of salaries to make sure we are offering a fair amount, scheduling interviews, or filling out paperwork to get someone started for their first day.  

    The most rewarding part of my job is offering a position to someone and having them be thrilled at the opportunity! We are often the first point of contact a job seeker has to an organization, and to be able to give someone the entry into our organization is a very exciting thing, especially after they have worked hard through the interview process.

    Recruiters are ambassadors of the organization and often are the ones who leave a first and lasting impression on someone, so it is very exciting when you can successfully lead an individual through a job search process. I find it extremely helpful to always be kind and friendly to people—you never know what sort of position will come up that they may be a good fit for and you always want people speaking positively about your organization.

    Special Projects Can Make Things Fun and Interesting in HR Recruitment  

    I also get to be involved in special projects, these have included:

    • Determining what our employer brand will be or implementing a new applicant tracking system (i.e., the job boards that you apply on).
    • Helping to create the brand messages that we are sending out to potential job seekers, explaining why they would want to work for us. This involves an evaluation of what people think of the organization, social media, and marketing strategies.
    • I am also helping to revise our job application process to make it more mobile accessible and user friendly.

    These projects task us with with making the employment experience better and though some of these projects are outside my comfort zone, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to create an image of the organization.

    Leveraging Your Educationally Gained Skills to Succeed 

    I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in organizational psychology. I use my analysis skills everyday, from assessing people and situations, to comparing resumes with job requirements and evaluating salaries. It’s an exciting, people-oriented role, where making connections and building a network is key! If you are comfortable talking to people, giving both good news and bad news, and have great follow up/follow through skills, this is a great job to consider. 

    Christine Beck is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University. 

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