(Article 1 of the series...Namaste Recruitment)
Being in the Recruitment Industry for over 2 decades and having seen the transition from Manual to Technology supported processes, having witnessed various green field Industry roll outs in the Indian sub continent, ranging from IT to Telecom to Private banking to Insurance to FM media to Clinical Research to Analytics......by partnering and supporting various Corporate Clientele, I bow to you... the Recruitment Industry and its people, who withstood enormous challenges of learning not only technology but the weather of Industrial changes and globalisation from its Brick and Mortar to cloud supported models..
Manual processes ruled the roost when technology was absent and the Paper age continued...., Jobs were much lesser and difficult to get. Options of multiple jobs simultaneously, were kind of un- heard of or only the fiefdom of a privileged few. Manpower needs were reflected by vacancy slots and vacancy filled in through traditional method of direct advertisement in the news paper, special campuses, employment agencies and few placement agencies (as it was called then...) after all the stone age !!!.
Candidates would apply for a job by sending the hard copy of the Bio Data( even handwritten CV’s) through post or courier, call letter for Interviews will arrive through the same mode and intimations and processes further as well....candidate and the company always wrote, met and finalised.
Other side, Recruitment Agencies advertised for openings and candidates responded mostly by walking into the consultants office or by sending their Bio Data by Post. There was one to one interaction. Some of the best in business “head hunted” appropriate candidates, where the hunted candidates used to announce with pride” I was head hunted and offered the position”!
Corporates would have a Personnel department which will manage the activity of recruitment.
Recruitment consulting agencies used to have large cupboards housing 10’s of hundreds of files containing CV’s classified according to Industry/Function and management levels and well indexed so as to identify or reach the right CV at the first go. It did not end here; the short listed set of CV’s were photocopied and taken to the Client with a covering letter in duplicate and acknowledgement obtained!!! The CV’s in the cupboard matched the value of ornaments in the bank lockers today!
Typically a prospective client will ask the Consulting agency in a BD call....what is the size of the databank your agency has (which almost sounded like today’s 6 pack / 8 pack abs!)...then more specifically....which Industry do you specialize and even more specific further in some cases where “which levels of management are you strong in? There are times when i have struggled to explain the Client ...please understand it’s not about the number of CV’s in the databank but the capabilities my recruiters possess to understand, search, assess and submit the relevant CV’s to you within certain time frame which matters.....but to no avail....nobody would listen....and i wouldn’t agree as i believed otherwise. I heaved a sigh of relief.... some day the truth will surface and better sense will prevail.....being an eternal optimist as always!!!
Towards the latter part of nineties when IT started growing and computers being in use at least replacing the typewriters and with Microsoft advent - processes started moving from type written covering letters to computer fed and printed on a dot matrix...then to an inkjet from Word Star to MS Word....the transition began...it almost looked like the progression from Dhoti to Trousers!
Thanks to Visionaries like...Rajiv Gandhi to...Narasimha Rao to Dr. Manmohan Singh to Sam Pitroda......a true series of life changing technologies to innovation to application.....Telecom industry came in wherein we started moving from cross bar exchanges to digital wherein ...no more you had to book a telephone call and wait to talk to someone in another city....nor increase your volume on the mouth piece in proportion to the increase in distance where you were calling........at least better landline telephony and invent of pagers...changed the way consultants gave interview calls or coordination of the interview process.
Computer aided or printed CV’s started replacing others of the old.....all of these changed in the course of 3 to 5 years establishing a new regime of Recruitment process in India (i can’t claim Recruitment Practice in India since the HR managers continued to ask me the size of the abs!!! i mean the data bank! when gymming was not even conceived i mean....portals were not in vogue!)...Then came the mobility telephony, laptops, Internet, E mails, and the world of recruitment changed in the turn of the century where India and the ever progressive Indians embraced both technology and the change.
Friday dressing started being a concept with the corporate.....Youth of India found more Job opportunities and Jobs that paid them better and suited their aspirations....Not only the ‘A’ category Campuses were frequented by the Corporates s but others too......more business schools....Job portals, soft copy of CV’s, telephonic interviews.....the world around was fast changing and the Recruitment fraternity moved from Wooden file cabinets to Celeron, Pentium 3 , Pentium 4 and then dual core...laptops, recruitment softwares, Facebook, LinkedIn,.....smart phones, sms, whatsapp,......interviews through video conferencing or Skype.....phooo.....If Husain bolt was ever challenged to record his speed with a changing environment....he would have lost it to the Indian recruiters who would have bagged all the Olympic sprint medals !!! Oh God! The pace at which the process changed and the tiers of dynamics!!!
Did the recruiter change when the contexts changed??? (Keep reading this space and comment or write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org)