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What Does a Staffing Specialist Do?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A staffing specialist works within the field of human resources (HR) and is typically tasked with ensuring adequate staffing for an organization or company. The duties of a staffing specialist often comprise recruiting, interviewing and vetting potential candidates. Depending on the company, staffing specialists may perform a variety of activities, or may be more focused on a single HR function. In addition, the specialist may provide staffing services internally for one company, or source talent for an employment agency, or recruiting firm. Preparation for this field typically involves some college coursework, a college degree in business, or on-the-job training in laws and procedures governing treatment of employees.

Common tasks of a staffing specialist usually entail some level of engagement in recruiting qualified candidates for an employer. For example, someone working in this capacity may staff a booth at a job fair, or give a presentation to a gathering of college students who are expected to graduate soon. When qualified candidates are in short supply, there may be intense competition for those candidates among employers. In this case, the specialist may take a proactive role in recruiting. He or she may make recommendations to company management to develop more competitive and enticing compensation packages, in order to successfully lure candidates away from competitors.

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When the opposite situation occurs, and there is an overabundance of talent compared to available jobs, the specialist may take a different tack. He or she may recommend that the qualifying bar for a particular position be raised. A staffing specialist may also compose job postings and position descriptions. This duty often involves legal responsibilities, such as fair and accurate disclosure of job duties, working conditions or compensation packages. He or she may also publicize available job openings in venues where potential recruits may see the postings.

Another area in which a staffing specialist may work is in vetting potential job candidates. This usually involves checking the candidate's references, fact-checking job applications, and verifying professional credentials, such as degrees awarded. Often, brief interviews are conducted with those whom the candidate listed as references.

Sometimes, the staffing specialist participates in interviewing the candidate, but this is not always the case. Even if the specialist does not interview the applicant, he or she may sit in on the interview. This may occur because the staffing specialist wants to ensure that the person conducting the interview follows proper protocol and abides by laws governing fair hiring practices. Preparation to be a staffing specialist typically includes completion of college-level coursework, or even obtaining a bachelor's degree in business administration or a similar field.

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