Recruitment firm finds employment

by Kane Loukas

Recent University graduate Anthony George’s voice shows hints of guilty bragging as he talks about how easily he landed his job at U.S. Bank.
“When I went in for the interview, I knew how everything was going to work and how the job was going to go,” he said.
Forget the nerve-racking, clammy-palm interviews. George, 24, didn’t even prepare the standard schmooze-filled cover letter for his first and only interview with U.S. Bank. There was no reason to bother with it, he said.
Like hundreds of other University students and graduates every year, George found a recruiter to do the job hunt and company research for him. As they draw on University talent to fill company rosters worldwide, human resource providers, as they are formally known, are making life easier for job seekers.
“They knocked out obstacles like finding the time to look for the job and preparing cover letters,” said George, who teamed up with Robert Half International, a large California-based firm specializing in the accounting and finance industries.
Recruiters from Half approached George last year at a job fair. Unsatisfied with his position as a state housing technician, George told the company he wanted a job that would apply his education — specifically his bachelor’s degree in economics. Less than a month later, George had his job as a credit analyst.
While recruiting companies might look like the pot of gold for those pining for a biweekly paycheck, their ease in placing less appealing graduates in jobs almost overnight is something they aren’t even taking full credit for.
“It’s a great time to be looking for a job,” admits Kathy Gullickson, a recruiter with Half. “Graduates have more opportunity now than they’ve ever had.”
According to a June survey by the company, the hiring rate in the North-Midwest region is charging toward a potential 13 percent increase between now and September. The rate is 2 percent higher than the national hiring figures, already at record-breaking levels.
“About a decade ago, only the students with the highest grade point average and the most school activities were the ones with the positions upon graduation,” Gullickson said. “Companies are now seeing more value in students.”
The increased interest in younger hires stems from the scarcity of seasoned experts, said Pat Boen, a managing recruiter for Half.
“With the market right now, it is hard to find the right people,” she said.
More jobs would be filled, Gullickson said, if students thought to use recruiters as a resource. She pointed out that students don’t consider using recruiters because they think they need CEO-caliber rÇsumÇs, or that it costs them something.
If that’s the case, Jason Krantz, 23, is an exception. Krantz, who graduated from the University in December, is now bouncing between a temporary placement agency and a permanent placement agency.
Krantz’s strategy is to build up his experience between his short term jobs while he waits for a prime permanent position to come around. The availability of jobs, he said, lets him make changes whenever he feels.
For example, he called Accountemps last week, one of several subdivisions of Half, and said he wanted something different from his position in the billing department of a Twin Cities chemical company.
Within hours, he said, the recruiter called back and told him they’d have a couple of jobs set up by Monday or Tuesday.
Krantz’s multi-task approach is just one of several options for plying the employment markets. Students and graduates feel their way through the job market by sending their rÇsumÇs to local and national recruiters in hopes they will match them with a staff request.
A stop at any Internet business site will reveal that recruiting is a highly lucrative business. Robert Half, in particular, was one of the fastest growing companies in 1997, boasting revenues of $1.3 billion.
As forecasters continue churning out positive numbers for the job market, graduates throughout the year will likely enjoy the same favorable employment prospects.