Adding value to recruitment services: information professionals bring skills to recruitment that can take service capabilities to a higher level.

Author:Buttita, Megan

People sourcing--a process that involves identifying and contacting potential candidates for open job positions--is a skill that can be taught to individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. The Internet facilitates this process by providing easy access to potential candidates, both through specialized databases as well as simple Google searches.

Perhaps because candidate information is so readily available, few organizations feel the need to include an information professional in the recruiting process. As the senior information specialist in the Talent Acquisition Department at Allstate, a provider of property and casualty products in the United states and Canada, I can shed some light on how librarians can assist with the recruiting function in this exciting and innovative space.

Creating Our Team

In 2009, Suzanne Sinclair, Allstate's director of talent acquisition, had a vision to create an in-house recruiting model that mirrored the retained executive search process for bonus-level employees. The business case for this vision was presented to Allstate leadership after assessing the current state of the company's recruiting efforts and meeting with internal customers and retained search firms. The initiative was approved after leadership saw the value, significant cost savings, and energy it would bring to Allstate's recruiting function.

The mandates from leadership were to procure experts who were knowledgeable about the candidate markets and improve the efficiency of the methods used to recruit officers for the company. A new team, Leadership Talent Acquisition (LTA), was formed within the Talent Acquisition Department. soon, two executive recruiters from retained search firms, two search coordinators, and one sourcer (an information professional with a degree in library science) were added to the team.

The role of the sourcer/librarian was to add value by providing research and related services for LTA's emerging function. At first, the difference between a sourcer with general research capabilities and an information professional with sourcing capabilities was not immediately clear. It soon became apparent that an information professional, while not a traditional recruiting sourcer, could provide research services beyond simply finding pools of candidates. By adding an information professional to the team, Leadership Talent Acquisition took its service capabilities to a new level.

As the economy slowly recovered, the Talent Acquisition Department started to grow, and LTA began to rely less and less on retained and contingency search firms and started managing more candidate searches in-house. An additional information professional was hired in 2012 to support Leadership Talent Acquisition, and the team expanded to 12 members.

In the latter half of 2012, Talent Acquisition made a strategic decision to bring recruiting completely...

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