I’m not a natural born speaker—I was trained at my alma mater. More like a trial by fire in a required speech class. Every day of class you had the potential of being called on to present on any current event. I was a Human Resource Management major… so I took other classes as well from Accounting to Business Law to eight specific to my major.
It was a good class—I had no idea at the time it would prepare me for where I would end up career-wise—a sourcer with an interest in the occasional speaking gig. But it did. The whole comfort in front of an audience? That came in time. I actually made that happen. My first year with my current employer I said yes to just about anyone who came up to me with a speaking gig because I wanted that nervous feeling, that stage fright, to go away.
And I couldn’t stop there. After meeting my self imposed “quota,” I made a list of types of speaking gigs I wanted. Small conferences, large conferences, niche groups, and… a University class.
Early in October, the opportunity to speak at Catholic University fell into my lap, on the only night I’m available. And it was to chat for an hour or so about the Recruiting Process to a group of grad students. As I was prepping I realized that no one had ever talked to me in college about the recruiting process. No order, no how to source, no how to engage with a candidate or extend an offer. That was all learned in my first internship with Grolier and then in my first job.
Kind of a fail of the higher education process when recruiting is part of HR, don’t you think? And really a fail when so many new HR grads start out in recruiting? Recruiting is a natural stepping stone into HR.
So, as I’m chatting to these grad students in this HR class about the recruiting process, I find out they don’t know about sourcing. What?? They don’t teach about sourcing? The “site:” command isn’t a chapter? They don’t cover in one of those massive HR texts the recruiting life cycle? And it’s even more interesting when you check me on this, use site:.edu
Geez. No wonder so many people make money on teaching people how to source. Imagine the advantage every HR grad would have if it was just part of an HR course. Or if a challenge to find an employee for a company was part of your final grade.
Might change how we prep our new grads. Might give us better generalists—and then better managers. If they not only know every law and benefit but how to hire and retain good people… I think it could change everything, and give us some really strong leaders for the future.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.