Personnel officer or recruiter – both terms for my job. I started out as a classic career changer and have now made it as a recruiter. And this blog post is about what someone in this position does exactly.
The beginning of my recruiter career
But one thing at a time: Five years ago, I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science and started my first job at a personnel service provider. I was still very interested in political issues, but I saw my professional future more in human resources. As a career changer, I lacked the classic training, but I learned practically from the ground up how to recruit specialists at the personnel service provider. In 2018 I decided to leave the personnel services environment and joined TÜV Rheinland.
A former colleague of mine and my husband, who also works here, told me about the job advertisement of the Recruiting personnel officer. Since June last year, I have been recruiting new employees for TÜV Rheinland Consulting, TÜV Rheinland Personnel and the Occupational Medical Service.
Tasks in the company as personnel officer
In principle, the work at TÜV Rheinland is very similar to that at the personnel service provider. I also act as a “service provider” for the company in this business. What I like much better, however, is the constant exchange with the hiring managers. They have a more consultative character here in the company. In addition, there are regular discussions with the works council, which was not the case in my previous job. In summary, it can be said that an internal recruiter in a company is more comprehensively involved in all processes and this makes everyday work much more multi-faceted.
As with other jobs, routine is part of everyday working life. For me, these are mainly administrative topics or the screening of applicants who have applied for our vacancies. Once we have identified suitable candidates, we pass them on to the Hiring Manager. It ultimately depends on his decision whether the applicants receive an invitation to an interview or a rejection. The scheduling of the applicants is centralised by our colleagues from the back office. They also advertise our vacancies on relevant job portals.
The most exciting thing about my job is getting to know the candidates. In the course of time, recruiters develop a relatively good feeling for people. This enables me to conduct an individual interview because I can respond differently to each applicant. Empathy, to a healthy extent, is definitely a great help in decision-making. A big challenge in recruiting is – sympathy! Because even if the recruiter finds the applicant incredibly sympathetic, the decision must be made as objectively as possible.
Dream Job: Recruiter
I don’t think I ever get bored with my job as a recruiter. It’s always so interesting to get to know the individuals behind the CVs and credentials. I also really appreciate the opportunity to get involved and talk to the hiring managers at eye level about future hiring. At TÜV Rheinland, you can not only consult and discuss current market trends, but also develop creative solutions to recruit new talent.
The recruiting market is changing and we are taking many different paths in our search for new colleagues. It’s great fun to follow the evolution towards more innovation. We work closely with our HR marketing Team in order to be perceived by applicants in a different way. Regular further training and workshops on relevant HR topics ensure that we stay up to date. Everyone can expand his or her own skills and develop them in various projects.
A further benefit is definitely the compatibility of work and spare time. We have a very good work-life balance here, thanks to the flexitime model and flexible working hours. Sometimes it is even possible to work from home.
My team is predominantly female, typical of HR. Many of us have previously worked for a personnel service provider, but we have very different educational backgrounds. HR is also very popular for career changers.
Kerstin Liehr is a personnel officer for recruiting in Cologne. Every day she commutes from her hometown Wachtberg to the city of Cologne. Whether specialists for occupational medicine, psychologists or specialists for occupational safety – her main focus in recruiting is on occupational medical personnel. She also enjoys working at TÜV Rheinland Consulting, where she recruits talents from the consulting segment. In addition to her favourite sushi dish, she also enjoys her husband and her time with dogs. To “recruit” one of the four-legged friends for her own home is Kerstin’s next goal.