Within my role as an Assistant Director for Training and Development, I’m responsible for training, recruitment and payroll functions or our Residence Life area. This role has been rewarding and assisted in my development within the Organizational and Human Resources competency area. In order to be successful, you must become familiar with federal and staff hiring laws. I developed this by taking Human Resource classes, engaging in learning activities offered through the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as well as training provided by the departments I have worked for over the years. I would encourage you to take any hiring training courses that are provided by your institutional HR office. Every state has varying state laws. For example, Texas has a Texas Foster Youth program hiring preference, which I needed to be aware of as we began our hiring processes.
If you know this is an area of work interest for you, I encourage you to talk to staff that work in this area around the country and conduct an informational interview. You also must advocate for yourself to be on any sort of committee that has to do with hiring. Try to get as much experience across multiple levels of staff. All search process focus on very different considerations.
I began my development within this competency as a Resident Assistant sitting on a recruitment committee. I knew I enjoyed talking with new people. No one else volunteered and here I am 12 years later. So, you never know where a decision you make as a young professional will take you. From there, during every professional stop I have made, I shared my interest in the recruitment and hiring area. As I developed more experience, I reflected on what levels I did not have experience with recruiting. I then sought out those opportunities. You will not get an opportunity for experience if someone does not know you are interested.
Be intentional in hiring and recruiting
My advice as you building your hiring and recruiting competency level is to be intentional. You need to be intentional in the types of questions you are asking.
What are the behaviors you are looking for in an employee?
How will those behaviors fit into the team at large?
How do you get other staff members assisting with your search to understand the importance of behaviors?
Anyone can put together interview questions and a process. To be competent, however, you must get intentional throughout your process.
Another area of importance for building your competency level is to be able to strategically plan for how you will gather a diverse pool of applicants. Sometimes, this is not as easy it sounds depending on your location and demographics of your student population. It is however, vital. You have to decide how to get out into the student population and let them know about the available job opportunities.
I achieved this by getting in front of Student Government meetings, Fraternity and Sorority chapters, and multi-cultural organizational groups, to name a few. It is often a misconception, especially around student positions, that students know about the jobs available on campus. From my experience, this is not always the case. You have to meet the students where they are. You then need to make sure your staff reflects the student body and communities you reside in, as best as you can.
To build your competency level in this area can be challenging. The tenet I have learned the most in this area is to seek feedback on your hiring practices before interviews begin, and often. This area affects almost everyone you work with. Thus, they are going to have an interest in who is being hired and the process they are going through. Don’t take it personally, they just want to make sure they will have a good co-worker at the end of the day!
This post is part of our #SAcompetencies series for February. Ever wish you knew then what you know now? #SApros pay it forward to #SAgrads looking for advice on soft skills and professional competencies before they job search this spring! For more info, please see Kim Irland’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!