A career is defined as “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.” – Wiki
US IT Staffing as a career would be one of the best decision one can make to excel in a fast pacing world, It gives you an opportunity to work with the best of the best system integrator, consulting and end clients. Many of recruitment professionals who are in staffing industry specially in US IT sector have started their career because of no other option or they didn’t find any other job for themselves and they landed up in US IT staffing job by a referral or with someone’s recommendation.
In this post I will be discussing the career road-map to understand the career development of a recruitment professional that would enable one to understand staffing world with bit more clarity. Many of the recruitment professionals I talk to or in the industry that were recruiters and are still recruiters as they won’t get a way to move on in the career or lack of interest of staffing agencies to promote them to a lead or a managerial role. One of the thing that I always emphasis when I talk about growth is education, training and empowerment where these three thing wont exists one should decide to leave that organization or agency at any level. As a recruiter/manager in the US IT staffing industry one must be able to adapt, change and implement transformation in his work approach otherwise he/she will be facing career growth issues.
A) IT Recruiter / Trainee IT Recruiter: You will be joining in a staffing firm / in house recruiter. At this stage of time you will be more focused on training yourself on end to end recruitment process where in your employer will invest on your training and facilitating you with a computer/laptop and etc. You will learn how search for people in different industries through various channels like job boards, social sites, database and etc. At this point of time you must be very careful about picking the role you want to get into as we have “US IT Staffing” divided into recruiting and bench sales.
Note: At this point of career beginning very few of the leaders talks to the employees about the two divisions in the staffing vertical, sadly many of them are self centered so they look at their worth not your career or growth but anyways ..
In the beginning of your career in the “US IT Staffing” industry you will have two options either to recruit people for the job or place people on the jobs so in other words “recruiting people for the job” is called recruiter and “placing candidates on jobs” is called bench sales. So if you have passion for talking to people and connecting with them on call or via email or any medium recruiting is good for you but if you do not like it but rather you like selling or talking about things then you can chose your career in bench sales where in you will working closely with the candidates to place him on the job.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
Senior US IT Recruiter : After gaining sufficient experience and exposure to technologies you will be able to understand job roles, domains and verticals by function you become mature enough to differentiate between important and priority in other words a focus recruitment professional who can close positions on priority or on demand. In this role you will be able to guide fresh recruiters on sourcing practices and different approaches to recruitment. There is not much different between a lead and a senior US IT recruiter as a senior professional you take care of your work and stuff but as a lead you take not only care of your stuff but also helps other colleagues perform the same in same or different capacity. There is where one realizes the leadership qualities in oneself that how is one able to educate, train and mentor people to perform and produce results.
Note: Many of the organizations push senior professionals due to their performance to a lead position without realizing the impact of that decision meaning a productive individual recruiter might lose his/her productivity by taking a role of a lead recruiter. It is the responsibility of an organization to identity people who have these leadership qualities then promoting them to a lead role which will benefit everyone. Remember the end goal of making someone a lead should be doubling the productivity of himself through different heads that he/she trains.
Account Manager: As you train, mentor and groom your fellow colleagues a times comes for you when you leave your billing seat and seat on the business side of the business that is driving delivery and client servicing role. In many of the organization we have this role but in some organization this role is divided into two part mainly delivery and client servicing.
i) Delivery Manager: A DM is someone who seats with the recruiters and work closely to ensure resume submissions/delivery on the client requirements (jobs). He/she works closely with the TL (Lead Recruiters) to ensure quality, quantity and timely delivery of the resumes on the jobs received from the clients. An additional responsibility of a DM could be mentoring leads who are good enough to understand urgency priorities and delivery of various technologies for making them future delivery managers. Unfortunately very few would like to grow , mentor and groom their colleagues.
ii) Client Service Manager / Client Partner / Client Engagement Manager: At this level an individual is already been through lot of recruitment’s, hiring’s, experiences and exposures with delivery then he seats on the chair of client servicing role where in one interacts daily with the clients for discussing requirements , priorities, traction, interviews, closures and many other client focus things. He/she fosters the relationship with the client to make sure whatever DM have submitted or presented to him/her is been sent to the client for review, screening, selection and rejection. A client partner works closely with the hiring managers to understand the priority requirements and future projects for building strong relationship which leads to higher profits and more business.
Note: As said above most of the organizations have single role where in a single point of contact is managing recruiters for delivery of resumes and as well managing clients relationships. This spreading into two is mostly done because of large accounts and more hiring managers where in we need to provide assistance on bulk hiring which leads to lot of interviews and closures or so on that is why organization keep AM into two different roles i.e DM & CP. An additional responsibility of a CP is to mentor DM on client servicing activities and relationship building.
Business Development & Sales : This is very exciting role and front seat of the business within US IT Staffing where in an individual who have been through all the phases of staffing such as end to end recruitment, sourcing, delivery, client services which gives him/her an edge and grip of entire business. Now as an individual one see and feel not recruitment life cycle but rather see and focus on business life cycle. At this level the individual is not concerned with the delivery or client services but rather on acquiring new clients and business of which the ultimate goal would be business conversions.
Note: Many organizations hire people directly for the role of BDM or consider previous experience as BD person and thinks things will work for them. Some time yes but many times as an individual who are not aware of insights of the business will faces challenges when interacting with clients or pitching in or would be able to answer questions asked by the clients.
Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. – Chris Hadfield
Director/ Head of Staffing Business: This individual is responsible for overall development of a staffing business like blue printing the business goals and executing plans through the year with the teams and groups. At this level an individual is more focused towards creating the COE center of excellence, quality control, training, mentoring, nurturing accounts, managing relationship, change agent and etc. usually this people also take care of hiring people in the organization and take responsibility of profit and loss, revenue and expenditure, escalation and problem solving kind of activities. They are the ones who heads the organization and manage both client relations from business point of view as well internal teams in terms of motivation , inspiration and role modeling.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. Maxwell
Note: This seats define your success in the industry by how you manage teams, inspire and lead them to become successful. This role comes with diplomacy two side roles that one play between stake holders and work force to keep the equilibrium. At this position many of the heads or directors or we call them as leaders create their follower base and become influencer and make careers of many people by guiding them for their inspiration.