Editor’s Pick: A Glimpse at Sourcing in India — Network To Recruit

Internet has opened up a plethora of opportunities and has been a major platform for information dissemination. With increasing accessibility the popularity of the Internet is at an all time high in India today. The introduction of Web 2.0 has revamped the face of networking and over these last few years, corporate consumers have adapted to this internet revolution and have been using it to optimise results on all fronts. The traditional method for job hunting through consultants and career bureaus have not yet become completely obsolete, yet in India the concept of Internet networking has taken the recruitment industry by storm. 

India saw the advent of social networking with the introduction of Orkut; other sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Xing, and Joso were not far behind, but these, however, focussed on business networking. Once on these sites people group together in communities, bound by passion, discuss interests, share ideas and dreams with their peers, ex colleagues, school and college mates and even acquaintances from the web, all on a public domain. This was manna from the World Wide Web, which the recruiters have been happily feeding on.

The dawn of such public forums in India has lit up the interests of the recruiting fraternity. These portals opened up novel areas for a sourcer to work on. They not only look up potential entrants and attract the right candidate for a position but can also scrutinise the person by checking his or her online profile which is easily accessible over the internet. These portals display a myriad of information to the sourcer, ranging from personal information, current job details, responsibilities, networking reasons and range, areas of interest, direct contact details, business aspirations to name a few. Several sites also offer to update the recruiter instantaneously when new resumes or listings appear on a job site which matches the job criteria. These business networking sites have a clear advantage over career sites as they are more personal and with the ability to reach a wide-ranging segment of the population it transcends geographical constraints and helps in global positioning, additionally reducing recruitment costs and administrative burdens.

Mr. Sai Kiron, a close associate of mine, a resourcing manager for one of Asia’s leading recruitment firm, has been a part of our guild for over a decade. Having realised the potential of the interface he lost no time to adopt it. He tells me that it has not only boosted his performance in terms of the number of people he meets for a given position, but also reduces the margin of error, as these sites are instrumental to study applicants and then recruit the right candidate for the post. I must add this is not a singular instance; an overview of most recruiters would lead us to the same conclusion.

Having had said that, I must also mention that we are not the sole benefactors of the medium. These forums also allow jobseekers to scout for the job best suited for them. They can befriend any member from a community of the organisation and discuss the opportunity, weigh the options and then take a stand. Job seekers have access to innumerable profiles from where they can explore avenues in other organizations even if the other person is not the one recruiting. It is no longer a seller’s market; the slant is on the buyer’s side. For instance, I met a fresh graduate from Indian Statistical Institute, a premiere quantitative School here. He didn’t look perturbed at the premise that he hadn’t taken up any job that came to the campus during the placement season. On inquiry he said none of them fitted his choice list and he didn’t want to rush into anything that came his way, just for the sake of having a job.  “I will wait till the right one comes my way and it’s not too far away, I have been monitoring the season’s hiring very closely and I am sure there is a lot more to come.” As chance would have it, he did manage to land the one job he was on the lookout for.

Well there is more to it — some of these networking sites are also encouraging people to play recruiters. Well it is as simple as it sounds – All you have to do is recommend a person for a vacancy and if he gets selected, you would be in line to earn some moolah.  The reward varies proportionately in accordance with the position filled in. This has caught a beeline of part-time recruiters pollinating on sites like Techtribe. As is the case, it is a tale of success for all three parties and showing the path for the future of reference-based recruiting in India.

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The recruitment industry has scaled new heights — however it is not all a starry walk. Beware of the bogus information. The aspirants may spin you into a web of fabrications which you may find difficult to decipher.  So a sourcer has to be sure that the selection process is based on sound and credible criteria.

Though one cannot rule out the traditional methods of hiring, Internet recruiting is here to stay and will only expand and integrate with existing systems, in the years to come. Considering the internet is open for users around the clock, there is no other better media available in the country currently which can provide better coverage when trying to reach the best qualified candidate for the job. Recruiting through the Internet has caught pace and will keep accelerating in this part of the world.

This article was originally published in the SourceCon.com PDF letter from April 2008.

Sucharith Menon is the HR Manager - Talent Management at dunnhumby India. He is an HR professional with interests in the areas of recruitment and organizational development. His career history includes working across industries like Consulting, Information Technology, and Analytics.

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