At the very start of your career, you’ve got your whole life and vocation ahead of you and that can be as intimidating as it is exhilarating. Piloting a career in the fast-paced world of recruiting and talent acquisition is tough and mistakes are inevitable. LinkedIn have asked 10 influential leaders in the world of recruiting and HR to reflect and here are some of the best pieces of career advice they gave for young recruiters:
1. Knowledge of the business – John Vlastelica, Ex-Amazon, Ex-Expedia.
Gaining a deep knowledge about the business and how it functions, whilst simultaneously understanding its challenges will put you in good stead for this career pathway. Knowing the business will not only help you to understand the needs of hiring managers, but also will help you to engage with top talent. Learning early on that generic EVP and job descriptions don’t work, is also very useful to know.
2. Curiosity and patience is key – Jennifer Shappley, VP, Global Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn
It is so important to be curious about the business early on, advice from successful HR leaders continually consists of taking the time early in your career to learn as much as you can and reaching out to others for advice and show interest in what they do. Pick the brains of your manager and teammates, as well as co-workers and stakeholders on other teams that influence your work any little snippet or nugget of information into the business can be insightful and can help to give you an even broader perspective. Patience is also key; take the time to gain experiences that will give you a wide set of knowledge and skills. Patience doesn’t mean waiting around for something to happen, you must be proactive and persistent to seek out knowledge, information, and opportunities to progress your career in the best way possible.
3. Seize Opportunities and UpSkill continuously – Stephanie Payne, SVP & CHRO, North America at Sodexo
Opportunities are omnipresent/infinite. Young professionals should pay attention when opportunities come about. New jobs, new companies, and new experiences will all help to build your skills toolbox. Every experience can be valuable, as not only can you learn things from the wrong job or the wrong fit but also from the perfect match.
4. Stop comparing and take more risks – Amy Schultz, Leading Recruiting at Canva
Although risk-taking can be daunting, if you can learn something new from the experience, then the risk was worth it. No risk, no reward. It is okay to not know the exact direction of your career progression. Your end goal may not even be on your radar from the start. But taking risks is important, you must be brave as you may land in you dream career sooner than expected. If others are receiving their dream jobs and you feel quite lost, don’t panic, this is very normal. When you stop comparing and focus on yourself this is when your time will come.
5. Help Others – Lars Schmidt: Author of the Bestselling Book, Redefining HR, Podcast Host, Founder, Amplify x r/HR Accelerator, Fast Company Contributor
Being selfless is a fantastic trait to have. Giving your time to others shows generosity and you should aim to help others as often as possible. Sharing your mistakes and the lessons you learned from them as well as listening to others is a valuable experience for both parties.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, elevate others over yourself and centre your focus on the things you can control: your work, relationships, building and adding value to your network and helping others.
6. Be Inquisitive as questions unlock success – Melissa Thompson, Game changing Talent Acquisition Leader
The right questions will propel recruiters forward. When a vague description of a task is given, don’t be afraid to delve deeper or to clarify their specific needs. Often when recruiting, candidates can sometimes dodge your question of fail to provide an adequate answer, do not brush over this, follow up and get specifics. The same question rephrased in a different way enables you as the recruiter to give the candidate a better opportunity to sell themselves and see their full potential. Ultimately, getting the specifics can help you short-list top talent but also aid you to become a top recruiter yourself.
7. Maintain an Open Mindset – Jessica Miller-Merrell, Trainer, Speaker, & Podcaster for HR, Recruiting, and Managers, Founder of Workology, Host of the Workology Podcast
At the start of your career your mindset should be open not closed; be open to new opportunities that the universe places in front of you and take time to explore them and don’t rush to judgment.
8. People first – Ed Nathanson, VP Talent and Talent Branding at EQRx | Employer Brand, Marketing and Talent dude | Likely to quote Star Wars and Beastie Boys | Humor or Heart | EQRx Champion
People. Never forget that, first and foremost, HR and Recruitment is a people profession. It is also worth remembering that people are unpredictable because when your product is people there is no way to predict accurately what each situation will bring — no matter how hard you try.
Recruitment gives the recruiter the power over someone’s future. Recruiting is something you do to affect and impact a person’s life to help put them on the right career trajectory. If you focus on people and their experiences above all else, your true passion for HR and recruitment will show.
9. Invest in your passion – Chris Hoyt, President & Co-Owner at CareerXroads
There are countless channels within recruiting and human resources. Get down to the nitty gritty. Find that spark within recruiting; an aspect that really motivates you and then invest all your energy toward it. Continuous learning and collaboration among trusted mentors, peers, friends, and family is always welcome. Never stop learning.
10. Don’t play it safe – Brendan Browne, Head of Leadership and Executive Talent at Y Combinator
Great things never happen by playing it too safe. Take bigger risks, at this early stage in life you have the opportunity to do big things and can afford to take risks, chase your dreams, ignore conventional wisdom, be fearless. Now is the time to go big.