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Vol. LlX, No. 6
March 23, 2007
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'Recruiting 101' Seeks Gifted Ambassadors for NIH

The auditorium is bustling with activity. An eager job seeker paces the room, anxious to learn more about a career at NIH. She makes eye contact with a friendly recruiter and strides toward the booth. There she is met with a smile and a polished introduction:

"Good morning! My name is Alesia and I work at the National Institutes of Health. Would you like to learn more about our new Administrative Fellows Progr.wait, can we do that over? I meant 'Good afternoon.'"

Jessica Schwartz explains the NIH Administrative Fellows Program to “applicant” Quincy Jones.
Penny Jones (second from r) and Shannon Thompson (r) take questions from a group of job seekers.

Welcome to Recruiting 101.

On Jan. 31, 30 would-be recruiters gathered at Natcher auditorium for the inaugural session of 101. The course was offered by the NIH human capital group to teach prospective recruiters from different ICs and professions the dos and don'ts of recruiting job seekers to careers at NIH.

The event began with an hour and a half of instruction on best practices for recruitment through a mix of classroom learning, moderated discussionsand group exercises. The session also featured a pair of skits illustrating some "worst practices," depicting unengaged and overbearing recruiters.

After lunch, the potential recruiters were given a chance to put their new skills to the test as they staffed a mock job fair. A variety of pre-selected "applicants" wandered the room, simulating the bustling and sometimes chaotic nature of a live career fair. Trainees greeted, assessed and made recommendations to the candidates. Those identified by recruiters as well-qualified were even given the opportunity to apply for jobs online through laptops.

Participants were enthusiastic about the class. "I thought the training was excellent — very informative and fun," said Mary Affeldt, chief of NIDA's Administrative Management Branch and a participant in the event.

The recruiters will get a chance to recruit for real in the coming months. They will be employed at a host of career fairs and information sessions at the area's top colleges and universities, recruiting for the new NIH Administrative Fellows Program.

AFP is part of an NIH-wide initiative to recruit new talent to administrative careers. Three job series were selected for the program pilot: administrative officer, grants management and contracts management. Representatives from each of these areas will interview qualified candidates. Those selected for the program will be hired by individual institutes and centers .

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