A Hunt for Talent

A Hunt for Talent

Recruiting the right person for the right job has always been a problem for the employer. In
the olden days, when agriculture was the mainstay of the world economy, slaves, peasants
and landless labourers worked on the farm. When agriculture was diversified, specialization
of skills became necessary to handle plantation crops like tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom,
The eighteenth century ushered in the Industrial Revolution. In the period that followed,
middlemen played a major role in supplying the required number of labours to various
industries. They compelled poor peasants and slaves to work in factories. Thus started the
migration of agricultural labourers from rural to industrial towns in search of work . All
these people became industrial workers. The conditions of work in factories and life in
industrial towns were miserable for these people. The novels of Charles Dickens portray the
inhuman conditions under which these people lived in the industrial towns of England in the
eighteenth century. So, it was felt necessary to have a special agency to look after the
welfare of the employees. Thus, the HR department came into existence in the early 1900s.
In the initial days, the HR department used flyers, posters, etc. to attract talent. Then it
shifted to the print media to have a wider canvas. Globalisation in the last quarter of the
20th century necessitated novel recruitment methods such as TV advertisements, job fairs,
exhibitions, conferences, etc.
The 21st-century use many novel tools such as social media for recruitment of talent. Social
media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, etc. are fantastic tools used by corporates
to zero in on the specific talent they require. There are walk-in interviews, online interviews,
conferences, assessment of CVs, performance reports, etc. for recruiting and promotion of
talent. CVs have become an inalienable part of the recruitment process of all companies.
Middlemen still play a major role in recruiting talent. For example, a good percentage of the
workforce from India and other Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan seeks
employment in the Middle East countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, etc. through
Written tests and interviews are still the means adopted by governments to spot talent. The
Civil Services Examination has a three stage recruitment process – preliminary examination,
main examination, and interview. This pattern is followed in most exams conducted by the
state and union governments.
Head hunters are a common phenomenon in the corporate world of the 21st-century. They
specialise in weaning away talent from one company to another, taking a commission from
the latter.
All companies have a recruiting strategy. It is true that in the 21st-century, companies
employ many novel tools like social media to recruit talent. But, it does not mean that they
have dispensed with the traditional methods, which they use sparingly.


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