Here’s a quick read for the HR professionals of today. It is to simply shed light on the many aspects of HR functionality that are often overlooked or neglected. Our intention is to amplify and expand your knowledge on the lesser addressed challenges and opportunities faced and tackled by the HR professional. Before we get started on the responsibilities surrounding the HR officer, let us breakdown their roles and responsibilities.

HR officers’ work would usually involve:

  • Hiring staff – advertising and interviewing
  • Working with other managers to plan future staff needs
  • Keeping employee records
  • Providing staff training and development
  • Making sure staff have the right pay and benefits
  • Arranging staff services, such as welfare and counselling
  • Dealing with complaints and discipline procedures
  • Promoting equality, health and safety
  • Advising on matters such as pay negotiations, redundancy and employment law
  • Developing HR policies and procedures
  • Writing employee handbooks
  • Decoding HR results from recruitment and attrition

It is particularly challenging for HR professionals in start-ups and SME’s to undertake all these jobs as the entire gamut of HR-related functions has to be handled by one person or a small team of two or three. However, in larger organisations, one has the luxury of a larger team and hence, the leverage to specialize in one or two of these areas. With the disruption of established working culture and etiquette driven by the millennial intellect, the fundamental ways of doing a job have been revolutionized.

There is one such secret sauce hidden in the cabinet known-to-all but implemented only by a few HR professionals and we are going to reveal it to you today. Just like how the truly ancient and proven practices of eating organic food or doing yoga or using neem or charcoal for oral hygiene has made a comeback in the 21st century as it has proven to be unmistakably effective, the practice of hiring apprentices is also making a huge comeback and gaining momentum, especially in the Indian job market. Top brands like Capgemini, HCL Technologies, Shoppers Stop, Taj Group of Hotels etc., are keen on hiring Apprentices as they are not only learned trainees, but also experienced freshers.

Apprenticeships are the little black dress of the employment world; they never go out of fashion.

Let’s look at the average lifecycle of an HR professional in the past decade. Invariably, professionals who choose to enter into the HR industry do so by way of joining as a junior executive in a recruitment consulting service. In a couple of years, they migrate to a company or a firm where they learn about the other departments and core functionalities in the HR division. They are generally pertaining to recruitment, training and development, payroll management, compliance and regulation, policy creation and employee engagement. These areas are pretty much the solid foundation on which HR professionals thrive.

However, is that enough?

In a menacingly competitive job market with rich talent pool, a truly smart HR needs to know the nuances of employability, selection of candidature, the difference between job requirements and roles, deciphering candidate personality and appeal among other factors. Above all, they should be a people person with management/leadership acumen to know the means to find the right fit for the right job. Focussing on Recruitment trends in this article, let us look at some of the avenues from which HRs (both in-house and consultancies) look for talent.

  1. Online job portals
  2. HR consultancies
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Employee referrals
  5. College Placements
  6. Job Fairs

This has pretty much been the norm for recruitment avenues as connectivity and profile match for job positions go. Through the process of specific keyword search and filtration via automation, a digitally gathered list is provided to the recruiting officers. Did you know that there is one other powerful and proven recruitment avenue that Indian HR professionals are missing out on? 

Which Apprenticeships Are Most Popular?
Apprenticeship placement as of January 2017

This number continues to increase each year. As per the January 2017 worldwide report from Research Briefings, the UK, the most attractive apprenticeship opportunities for businesses come from Administration and Law, Health, Public Services and Care, Retail and commercial enterprise, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies and Construction, Planning and the Built Environment.

There is a huge misconception among HR professionals and organisations in general about the kind of industries apprentices can add value in. Apprentice opportunities are not only for organisations involved in Engineering, electro-technical, industrial trade and manufacturing but also in retail, healthcare, hospitality and logistics enterprises in the metro and cosmopolitan cities of India.

If you are an HR professional in a corporation and is assigned the job of placing a talented pool of applicants in a company, you may want to wave your magic wand towards apprentices by hiring them for full-time employment or as a trainee in the place of interns. Whenever you are on the lookout for the right candidate for employment, look beyond the usual 6 avenues mentioned above and try the 7th and golden recruitment opportunity of hiring apprentices. 

Apprentices make for better candidature especially in a variety of jobs in the junior and mid-level positions. They are better by virtue of their educational background which is more in-depth, structured, instructional and robust than the academic studies of mainstream education which focusses a little on everything.

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