How Do I Become a Personnel Staffing Specialist?

Research what it takes to become a personnel staffing specialist. Learn about job duties, education requirements, preferred career skills and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Personnel Staffing Specialist?

Personnel staffing specialists are human resources specialists who focus their careers on the recruitment and/or placement of employees. Recruitment specialists are hired by a single organization to locate, screen and interview applicants for potential positions. To do so, they go to job fairs and post openings in online or print publications. Over the course of the interview process, they may be involved in testing employees and contacting references. Placement specialists generally do not work for a single organization; instead, they look for candidates with certain qualifications and try to match them up with employers who need employees with those skills. In some cases, they set up interviews, but they are usually not involved in the interview process itself.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required Bachelor's degree at minimum
Education Field of Study Human resources, business administration
Key Skills Recruitment, management, interpersonal communication, negotiation
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% (for human resources specialists and labor relations specialists)*
Average Salary (2015) $63,710 (for human resources specialists and labor relations specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Job Duties Would I Perform As a Personnel Staffing Specialist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personnel staffing specialists may also be referred to as recruitment specialists, placement specialists and human resources development specialists ( Typical job duties you may perform in these positions include keeping up-to-date on a company's specific hiring policies as well as current labor laws. You may need to travel in order to recruit potential job applicants at colleges and job fairs. You might also interview and place potential employees in compatible companies.

What Education Do I Need?

Educational requirements for personnel staffing positions will vary depending upon the size and type of company you choose to work for. However, most positions in the human resources field are given to those individuals who have earned at least a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS. Undergraduate programs in human resources and business administration should provide you with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to undertake a position in the personnel staffing field. Such programs often cover topics such as personnel training, recruiting, business management and employee compensation.

What Type of Skills Do I Need?

In order to succeed in personnel staffing, you should be able to identify and further develop employee skill sets. You may also be required to have a minimum of three-to-five years of human resources management experience. Depending on the position, you may also need to have experience with recruiting personnel at all levels of management as well as negotiating their compensation arrangements.

In addition to strong interpersonal communication skills, you need to possess strong written and verbal skills; this includes computer and word-processing proficiency. Other general skills usually include the ability resolve employee issues, manage stressful situations, maintain policy and procedure manuals, administer employee policies and assist with online recruiting.

What Type of Work Environment Should I Expect?

According to the BLS, you would usually work in an office environment; however, you may also work in the field and travel to regional and international offices to meet with existing or prospective clients as well as co-workers and management. Since the recruitment, training and retention of employees is integral to a business' daily functioning, personnel staffing specialists are needed in many fields; these include private industry as well as the government. Just a few of the fields you may work in include architecture, air transportation safety and medical services.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You might also want to consider a job as a general human resources manager. Like personnel staffing specialists, they are typically involved in the hiring of employees, but they also have a broader range of additional duties, such as mediating disputes between employees and employers, planning benefit programs and consulting with company leadership about worker productivity. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, if you are interested in talent recruitment, you could consider becoming a scout for a college or professional sports team. Your job would be to search the sports world for talented players, contact potential recruits and discuss scholarship or salary options. Most scouts have a bachelor's degree.

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