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Head hunting: a profile of another young star Renny George

The young manager has neither a database to refer to nor the telephone numbers of potential candidates. Venetia D'Souza tells us more.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2008 21:26 IST
Venetia D'Souza

8:59 am: as the digits on the far right hand corner of Renny George's computer turn 9:00 am, the 24-year-old team leader runs through his to-do list for the day: front-office assistant, transaction specialist, data analyst - just a few of the 12 diverse job openings that he will have to fill by the day's end.

Just another day in the life of a headhunter, you say? Not exactly. Try finding a senior transaction specialist, a person responsible for designing, developing or implementing Internet transaction software, from a social networking profile which reads, "Enjoys making friends and going mountaineering."

The young manager has neither a database to refer to nor the telephone numbers of potential candidates. In fact, all that George and his team have at their disposal to find the ideal job candidate are faceless profiles on social networking web sites, alumni forums and business networking portals.

"It takes days for us to come up with a match, and it might not even be close to the company's ideal candidate," said George. Sometimes, the only leads are a name and a work profile, but have no clues about where the person lives, his or her job history or references.

George was picked from the 70,000 member-strong staffing firm TeamLease's staff to head their newly formed social networking search team, a concept still raw to the Indian recruitment segment. "We picked Renny for the enthusiasm he showed in sourcing from the Internet," said Rajesh A R, vice president at TeamLease Services. "In fact, he was using social networking web sites to find candidates much before we thought up the concept."

Although all the team has are faceless names to begin with, their monthly targets are no different from the company's other search teams - their targets must amount to 15 per cent of the company's overall target.

But George is not going to let the stiff targets get him down. In fact, in the very first month, the team contributed to a third of the company's Internet-based monthly hires. So George's target for the next quarter now seems like chicken feed. But George is aiming higher - 25 per cent of the company's target.

It's been a 12-hour day of nail-biting deadlines. Relaxing in his cubicle at the company's Koramangala-based headquarters in Bangalore, he said he found it difficult to believe that he had stumbled upon a career in recruitment by chance. In 2006, after graduating in commerce from KJ Somaiya College in Mumbai, George applied to a city recruitment firm's job posting for the lack of an alternative. He got it.

Nine months into searching for data analysts and juggling disc jockey assignments by night, George packed his bags for an IT recruiting job at TeamLease's headquarters.

Today, the 5.5 footer is glad he's got a job he "thoroughly enjoys." An Internet enthusiast - he can spend 12 hours at the computer without moving an inch - George motivates his team to come up with new ideas to overcome the lack of guidelines for how to get the most out of searches of social networking sites.

Take the time they were asked to find a "beautiful candidate" for a front-end executive job. After brainstorming for a day and coming up with no search results, they hit upon a brainwave, matrimonial web sites. So they logged onto shaadi.com, and before long had a list of potential candidates with photographs, educational qualifications and work experience.

Still amused by the team's achievement, George insists that the foursome had crossed no ethical boundaries in achieving their target. "We informed every candidate that we had sourced their name off the site and that they could expect a call from the company," he said.

It's profiles like these that the team battles with daily. But when George finds his young team's spirit is drooping over a stubborn mandate, he throws up a challenge. "Let's see who can crack this mandate by the end of the day. And I'm in on the search too."

It's this encouragement that helped team member Raghav R find the right transition specialist candidate. He simply followed George's advice: look for bloggers on trade web sites on the basis of their posts. "Renny is always looking out for new networking sites that we can explore and encouraging us to look beyond the obvious," said Raghav.

But when George retreats to his one-room pad at the end of the day, he ensures that he carries no work with him. He unwinds over the trans beats of Paul Van Dyke, turned up loud, and a large bar of chocolate. After all, he has his future all planned out. "Within three years, I will head an all-India team of social network search professionals and take e-sourcing to a whole new level."