From Pitfalls to Prospects: A Personal Recruiting Tale
Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. ―Helen Keller
What follows is a personal anecdote shared with The Sourcing Institute by a recent graduate:
“Hi, my name is Kelli and I am one of those statistics above. I’m a recovering unemployed disabled professional. No, I’m not recovering from an addiction but a circumstance. The circumstance of being unemployed.
Imagine going to college and obtaining a graduate degree, just like your parents told you to do as they raised you. Diploma in hand, proud to be part of that “college grad” demographic, you find yourself eagerly searching for work. Soon after you realize no one will hire you. They don’t care that you’re educated. They’d rather hire someone who isn’t disabled or who doesn’t need special accommodations. So what do you do? You find employment, (as some blind people do) working as a Braille proofreader. Over the next six years you make less than $10,000 a year, well below the median income of $30,000 for those with disabilities, putting you well under the poverty line. That job ends for reasons out of your control and you start working for yourself because you’ve already tried and failed at getting a job in the so-called regular workforce. Why kick a dead rat when it’s already stiff and stinking? Over the next few years, your financial situation improves enough to keep you away from the soup kitchens, but you still don’t make enough to live independently, much less equal to what most educated folks do.
You begin to despair and lose faith that your working life will be filled with toil for little to no pay and reward. You become depressed yet remain hopeful that something good will eventually turn up. You start asking yourself questions like: Will I ever make enough to have a life of my own? Will I have to live off of shitty benefits forever? Will anyone recognize the value I can bring to their organization and appreciate me enough to pay me more than pennies to the dollar? What can I do to improve my situation when I’ve tapped out all available resources?
Now imagine said resources are such complete crap they, instead of helping me, blame me for my current situation? Because you know, just like minorities people with disabilities are lazy, used to being on the dole, and unmotivated to change their lives. Why not continue to milk the free ride?
Why should my story matter to you? Why should you care? How would you even be able to lend me and others like me a hand anyway? There are millions of highly-qualified, educated, skilled, unemployed military veterans and people with disabilities who are exactly where I used to be before I qualified for a full scholarship with The Sourcing Institute in their Talent Sourcing and Recruiting program. And, there are companies the world over who don’t yet know to utilize the immense benefits Talent Sourcing and Recruiting can bring to their bottom lines.”
Well, first off, monetarily speaking, it’s highly rewarding. Starting salaries are as high as $60,00. Payscale.com reports the national average total compensation for recruiting jobs ranges from a low of $51,303 to a high of $91,108 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) pegs the national mean annual wage for Recruiters at $61,560, ($83,870 in heavily populated areas) with the highest-compensated 10 percent making over $96,470. CBSalary.com lists a national average salary of $62,284 per year. In fact, of the 10 largest occupations in the U.S., recruiters account for 21% and only registered nurses have a higher annual median wage at $68,910 where the annual median salary for all jobs is $46,440.
In terms of flexibility and “accommodation,” working remotely and virtually has become very prevalent in many industries throughout today’s competitive global marketplace, and none more so than in sourcing and recruiting. A great many positions are available in this industry that allow you to work from home or anywhere you so choose that provides the best environment for job success. Let’s not forget that this can and usually does benefit the employer as well, from a bottomline perspective.
Furthermore, if you like to network, then this is a job for you. Recruiters are some of the most connected folks on this planet. Do you like to be challenged? Then join the club. Pay and compensation is based more on performance than tenure. Do you have a thirst for knowledge and skill enhancement? Bingo. You will always be learning something new as a recruiter. You will never have a boring day in this career.
There is a high market demand for sourcers and recruiters, which will only continue to grow as the economy changes. If, like Kelli, job security had you worried in the past, then consider the obvious effect top talent has on an organization’s bottomline. If you are filling job openings with more qualified candidates while reducing costs, and ultimately increasing profits, then your high value will result in very strong job security. And The Sourcing Institute Foundation’s mission is to get you the best education and training out there, providing you with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to excel, and thus add great value.
In mid-2014, the federal government established the rule requiring that the workforce of federal contractors consist of a minimum of seven percent of workers with disabilities. Contractors that fail to meet this stipulation could lose their contracts. “Federal contractors represent 22 percent of the American workforce and an aspirational 7 percent hiring goal means the rule will create real jobs, at all levels of seniority, for Americans with disabilities,” said Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. This change could mean over half a million jobs for people with disabilities within the first year alone, the Labor Department said last year when the rule was finalized.
There are better reasons for hiring those with disabilities than just “because you have to.” Here are four more:
Compare that to the cost of employee turnover!
Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. ―Claus Moser
CEOs are blind to the value hidden in plain sight in a department outside of sales and marketing. A department that is severely underutilized. That if optimized, can lead to increased revenue and reduced operating expenses. Which department is that, you ask? Talent Sourcing and Recruiting.
You guessed it — the first to be hired when a company needs to grow; the first to get fired when it’s time to “cut costs”; the most likely overlooked when allocating training funds, and the least likely to get promoted when things go well. It is the recruiter’s job to find, attract, engage, assess, and onboard available talent to an organization, but why are most people not aware, or do not recognize, this value?
Ask yourself who finds the best sales people for a company? Sourcers. What do the best sales people do? They grow revenue. Who is the first to touch these new hire prospects and sell them on your company? Recruiters. So...sourcers and recruiters are the first to brand the company? Yes. By training recruiters on how to source aren't we making a strategic investment in our future? Yes! If we invest in our recruiters and they hire better people, won't that make our brand more valuable? YES!
Let me guess, you never trained your recruiters? Think you’re doing fine? Then why are you spending money on fixing your employment brand? Maybe it is because your ill-equipped industrial age recruiting practices are hurting your brand? Your CEO knows it, that’s why they tell you that lack of great talent is what most robs them of their beauty sleep.
Hiring Talent is the leading challenge identified by CEO’s, Presidents, and Chairmen of the world’s 1000 largest corporations. ―2014 CEO Challenge
Still not convincing enough? Consider the economic impact talent sourcing and recruiting has on society at large. Want to increase your revenue? Lower recruitment costs? Hire qualified candidates? Cement or improve your reputation? Recruiters will approach a smaller, more concentrated population of candidates they’ve targeted for your company, eliminating unnecessary and lesser qualified leads, and going about it in a gentler, more humane way that won’t piss off candidates who are potential customers.
That is why sourcing is the way to fix what is broken at the heart of recruiting. It is how you can get at the best candidates, in the shortest time, with the highest return on investment, and the lowest damage to your brand, yet produce the quality results you demand. Why, then, does the talent-finding function suffer from such a lack of support from those at the top?
Recruiting departments get little support compared to sales and marketing. In contrast with recruiting, companies invest wildly in specialized roles such as sales intelligence, pre-sales, sales support, post-sales, account management, customer success, direct marketing, outside sales, inside sales, and telemarketing. They do this to compete and attract customers because CEO's regard sales and marketing as the fastest and best way to grow revenue and brand. There is no hesitation sending sales and marketing specialists through training. Few objections get in the way of purchasing sophisticated tools and support services for them. So why is it so difficult to understand that same concept applies to recruiting? Because on the surface, it appears very easy to find and hire new employees, yet study after study proves that recruiting is really difficult.
Intensifying the problem, employers refuse to consider that those with disabilities could be qualified to fill open positions on a long-term, permanent basis, doing away with the high turn-over rate. Many companies experience a hardship in filling some of these positions. Who better to serve as recruiters than those with the training and skills to source professionals based on their skill set alone. And what if a good part of those sourcers and recruiters are disabled?
WE Can Do It!
Working together, we can eliminate barriers to employment and replace them with viable, sustainable opportunities.
Sound difficult? It won’t be if everyone who reads this takes up the initiative to encourage their employers/organizations to assist The Sourcing Institute Foundation’s efforts of connecting talent sourcing and recruitment with disabled persons, veterans, and other groups.
Do you want to be a part of this compassionate, and highly intelligent mission? This mission is about education, and employing highly intelligent human beings that have been victims of oppression and discrimination because of a circumstance. This is also about positively affecting the size and strength of our economy.
LET’S COME TOGETHER to change the ill-effects of misconception and discrimination. Change can be made only by group effort.
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