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Extracurricular activities and sports at a young age can prepare a person for his future career says Mr. Gaurav Kumar, Consultant at Future Step – world’s leading executive search firm. He talks a lot more about recruiting trends & present hiring strategies of HR with CareerBuilder India during Talent Acquisition Conclave held in Gurgaon on May 8, 2014. Here is the direct conversation:

What difference you notice in recruitment trends now & before?

Well, if we look at the recruiting firm at stand point when we are recruiting now then the way it used to happen earlier, then I think it used to happen, I think there is a lot of influence on marketing and sale within the entire recruitment life cycle because these days, niche talent is any ways very-very scarce in quantity, so to attract the talent, it is not just enough to tell them about what a job description is all about , you really need to tell them about the other career opportunities or the other aspects which are related to the company.

What role does marketing have in hiring talent?

So, the way marketing is related with, simple approach is to tell them what the job description is, but marketing is about selling the benefits, selling the career opportunities in the long term, and selling other intangible benefits which come along that opportunity. So, the way we look at recruiters now days, they need not be plain recruiters, they have to have marketing flair. Same candidate is approached by multiple clients, or multiple agencies for the same job. So, it is highly imperative if the recruiter does not strong marketing skills, the candidate may slip out of his catch, and then the recruiter may not just end up having that particular candidate.

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Has digital marketing made the life of HR’s easy?

See, when you have marketing coupled with HR, reaching out to anybody in the age of digital media is not very difficult, as we have Linkedin, we have Facebook, and there are several other social media platforms, so reaching is I would not say that’s difficult.

Does HR Pitch with a marketing angle help?

If, it’s a pitch, if I have to say it’s a pitch, while recruiter is pitching a particular job description if that comes from a marketing standpoint, chances are high that the candidate will be engaged more, he will ask more questions, the discussion will move on from a plain job description standpoint to more employer branding, as to what does the brand really stands for. And when the candidate engages in the discussion because of the marketing influence of that pitch, chances are you might end up hiring the candidate; and in that case you might be putting in less effort what other company might be doing but your referred would be extremely smart. So, let’s say if you are putting only 50% of your efforts that would be delivering results rather than putting in more, let’s say more efforts & less result.

Your views on Social Media Platform:

Social is again a misnomer, I mean not all platforms really conjure up to be concluded within social media platforms. If we look at, we have Facebook, we have Twitter, we have Instagram, and then we have Linkedin. But LinkedIn is the primary resource of actually recruiting somebody. Though Facebook and Twitter are still coming up but when we talk about the entire social media.

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Do you think they gave a tough competition to job portals?

I think that there are only few tools which really stand out, and I think these have a lot of potential because these social media platforms, which are coming up, I think these are giving real fight to establish online job portal, though online job portals still have their USPs when we are looking at frontline workforce to have work experience of about let’s say 1-5 years or at the max is 7 years. But when it comes to recruiting people at mid-level or let’s say senior level, reliance is more upon these active social professional portals like LinkedIn, than may be going on to job ports.

How to connect professionally on LinkedIn?

What I would advise people to do is, once they send an invite to people, do not send a very generic reply that says ‘Hi, I would like to invite you to my LinkedIn professional network’-don’t use this pitch; instead use a customized pitch, one liner or two liner, with respect to each individual you are trying to connect with. This is one. Once the pitch is very sharp and to do the point, the chances are the other person will accept your invite. Second advice would be, just don’t send invite to anybody in the market. Send invite to people, who are subject-matter expert, who have a certain strong hold in the market. That’s another. And once a person accepts your advice, update acceptance invite with a telephonic call because that again leads to a higher brand recall and if that telephone call leads to a meeting then it is all more like sealing the entire deal.

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How to enhance the much needed communication skills required today?

The roles are evolving now in the entire eco-system is none of the role is being performed in the cylo, means you are not just confined to a desk, or you are not just confined to a cabin and you do your job well, that’s not how the roles are getting defined or getting evolved. Each role requires a certain set of inter-personal communications; it requires certain set of general knowledge, common sense, sensitivities towards various cultures.

How do sports & extra activities help?

And one advice that I would like to give is when students are studying within their schools or colleges, I think they should actively participate in some extracurricular activities rather than just confining themselves to books. They should indulge in sports because that is a team effort, that’s a team activity, which fosters team building, which fosters acceptance of another individual’s mistake; it fosters utilizing somebody else’s strengths and also extracurricular activities that opens you to interact with other people, because that is very imperative when a candidate is joining a new company, they always have some apprehension that whether I should interact with or approach that person, or what will he think. In that case, if somebody is indulging into some creative process, let’s say theater or let’s say extempore debating, that sort of thing can really open a person at a very young age.


About Gaurav Kumar: Gaurav Kumar has over 9 years of experience in the recruitment industry. He is responsible for developing and driving new business across Futurestep Korn/Ferry service lines for Global Consumer Markets in India.

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