Is the Internal Recruitment Manager a Dead End Job?

You might have questioned the meaning of your role as an Internal Recruitment Manager before – am I only good for putting bums on seats? Am I going to be sifting through lousy resumes for the rest of my life? What is my career path from here on out?

Before you sink into utter despair, let me make you a proposition – Chief Operating Officer (COO). A fancy thought maybe, but hear me out.

As an Internal Recruitment Manager, you have access to all the Talent within an organisation and you have in depth knowledge on how the business is run from across all levels. You have a fantastic understanding of the company’s value propositions and know how to use these to attract prospective candidates. Armed with these vital knowledge, who’s to say you cannot earn a seat at the C-suite table and become the next COO one day?

Is the Internal Recruitment Manager a dead end job? @trevorpvas shares more. Click To Tweet

If you need further proof on how is this not just a fantasy, let us have a look at some of the common traits of the best COO:

  • Strategic with a focus on details
    • A successful COO has a very clear sight of the company’s high level strategies and seeks to advance them continuously, while at the same time remain highly aware of what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis.
  • Appreciates and deepens pipelines of talent
    • A good COO is a people’s person who is able to get everyone working together as a team. This person also has an eye for Talent and is able to provide a good platform for his team to grow.
  • Data driven and makes fact based decisions
    • A level-headed COO does not rely on his/her gut for decisions in business. This person is comfortable with using data and analytics to guide business decisions and is able to convince senior executives to do the same.

I do believe that Internal Recruitment Managers have the perfect opportunity to develop these traits due to the nature of their work and the broad level of exposure they get of the business when recruiting for different departments. They are aware of what is working for the business and what requires improvement and are well placed to shape the organisation positively through the work they do.

Rob Papworth, Group Manager for Talent at MMG Limited, a global mining company based in Melbourne, is a good example. Rob has seen his portfolio expand from recruitment to include managing MMG’s global Talent throughout the lifecycle of their employment with the organisation. He has also been involved in numerous high value merger and acquisition projects and worked very closely with his CEO and COO.

It was not easy, according to Rob, and he had to work extra hard initially to gain the trust of his bosses. He put in the miles and went through the usual humdrum of sifting through resumes and doing reference checks. He also made an effort to improve the hiring process so that he can become more efficient at what he did.

Over and above, Rob cares about the organisation he is working for and makes an extra effort to understand the company’s critical functions and knows exactly what he needs to do to add value. This enabled him to establish his credibility within the organisation and it led to a seat at C-suite table.

What does an Internal Recruitment Manager & a Chief Operating Officer have in common? Click To Tweet

Throughout my years of interacting with Internal Recruitment Managers at the conferences I had organised, I have met many who revealed the lack of purpose they found in their job. Often times, they were back filling roles reactively and operating under the direction of the hiring managers. They felt that their careers had plateaued because their organisations saw their roles as less vital rather than a strategic one.

It does not have to be this way and I believe your future is only limited to how much effort you put into it. As motivational speaker and writer William Arthur Ward once said – “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”.

So I’m laying down the challenge to all Internal Recruitment Managers out there – can you become your company’s next COO?

Cover Image: Shutterstock


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