by Cardell Gloriani

Honestly, going into recruitment was not part of the plan. Being a fresh graduate, with the pressures of earning money as soon as possible, yearning for the taste of providing for my family, I gave it a shot. Diving headfirst into the chaotic world of RPO was a roller coaster of emotions for me- I was scared because it was a very competitive industry, working for the big players internationally, what can a fresh graduate with zero experience like me do? On the other hand, there is always this anticipating excitement of starting anew, starting fresh, a blank slate ready for all the learnings and trainings this industry had to offer.

 Adjustments are always a part of work. It was a challenge to change your entire routine to accommodate living and surviving the night shift, the burden of commute, getting to know all your colleagues, I felt like a fish out of water, totally out of its element. But one thing I do know about myself is I tend to look at things in another light- working the night shift meant commuting during the evening, which was far from the blazing heat of the sun, commuting to the office was sometimes a time I can think, having nothing to do but just sitting and listening to music, it was a time of slowing down and the calm before the storm. Getting to know my colleagues meant learning from them as well, absorbing their techniques and actually gaining friends along the way.

Expectations were harsh and demanding, we were out of school, after all. I was a professional, and even though everything went by like a blur, after a few weeks of training, I was deemed ready to go and recruit. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. From sourcing to simply picking up the phone and dialing, everything was a challenge at the beginning. There’s always that nagging feeling of “I must be forgetting something” while talking to someone and even after it. There’s always the fast heartbeat, the fidgety hands, the like. After a call, there’s this high that you get, and I always tend to ruminate on that feeling, having talked to someone, even enjoying it, and giving them an opportunity that would impact them and their lives, even though they live a thousand miles away, I would be starting something, big or small, I still made a difference.

I can never tell how many cups of coffee, sticks of cigarette, bottles of beer, rolls of tissue I used up, with all the stress and demands of the industry. We always have to be quick but careful, concise but perfectly efficient, almost close to perfect. We work with people, and these people have lives. It’s an industry not for the faint hearted, I’ve had people shout at me, cuss at me, I’ve encountered all sorts of problems, sometimes really light and funny, which made for great coffee break stories, or sometimes really serious and challenging, which made me nothing but resilient and quick-witted.

My stay in the RPO industry have proved to me how strong I can be, how far I can push myself to do better. It’s an industry of constant change, I never get to be too comfortable because anything can happen, literally. You can be recruiting for nurses for about 3 months, then you suddenly get tasked to recruit forklift drivers, then you get requisitions for managers, engineers, administrative assistant. It’s a constant chance for learning, you get to talk to professionals about what they do, firsthand. Experience is the best teacher, and talking to your candidates is the best research.

All in all, I started as a fish outside water, a young, unaccomplished fresh graduate, eager to make a living and be part of the working force. I can say nothing really has changed, I still feel around things before doing them, I still am clueless in other areas of my job, sometimes I just wing it, or maybe winging it isn’t really the term, sometimes I operate purely on muscle memory. Doing something for so long, it becomes a part of you at one point, even though I feel very oblivious to what’s happening, I know this work has grown on me, and is part of who I am. This little fishy still has a long way to go, but she’s swam so far from where she was years ago.