Similar to human resources (HR) and recruitment professionals, placement specialists are responsible for filling job openings at companies with qualified applicants. They search for professionals who possess the skill set, educational background and work experience required in roles ranging from IT managers and marketers to sales representatives and business executives.
Placement specialists are responsible for researching, screening, interviewing and placing job candidates in various positions within a firm. These professionals use various methods--email, cold-calling, instant messaging applications, Internet research and electronic databases--to solicit candidates for job openings. Placement specialists must educate candidates on their company’s compensation and benefits packages, help candidates fill out and submit their new hire documentation and make sure that all necessary paperwork is processed with the appropriate departments. Other duties include scheduling orientation training and arranging travel and hotel accommodations for new employees and submitting employee status and performance reports to management.
While some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology or a related major, others will hire candidates that hold a high school diploma or GED with related experience or training in recruiting. Majors that focus on people development, organizational management and career preparation, as well as college courses in management principles, organization structure and compensation and benefits are helpful for placement specialist positions.
Companies look for candidates who know how to perform Internet research, work with word processing and spreadsheet applications, update and maintain employee databases and build relationships with customers, vendors and staff. Good decision-making, problem-solving and interpersonal communication skills are needed to execute HR-related tasks and interview candidates. Negotiation and personal selling skills are also beneficial, along with knowledge of a foreign language.
The average salary range for a placement specialist in the United States fell between $34,686 and $54,359 according to a June 2010 PayScale report. Bonuses for the position ranged between $1,019 and $6,098 per year. Since placement specialists are often measured based on the number of job applicants they place, commission rates averaged between $4,355 and $19,956. Annual wages vary widely based on factors such as on geographic region, industry and level of experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition,” HR professionals will be needed by companies as their business expands and employee numbers grow during the 2008 to 2018 decade. Job opportunities will be best in consulting, management and employment services industries, since firms will hire HR contractors to help them develop employee training programs and reduce hiring costs. Candidates with bachelor’s degree in HR management, industrial relations and labor relations and extensive computer skills will have an edge over competition in the job market.