A "Stryker Fit": America's shift towards behavioral- and strengths-based talent acquisition and management.
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My senior individualized project aims to explore the recent evolution of recruiting practices within modern day American companies. The idea for this project sprouted from my internship as a sales recruiter for Stryker Medical of Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a sales recruiter, the objective of my internship was to seek out, identify, and ultimately hire the most talented candidates for the Stryker Medical sales force. My responsibilities included weekly travel to different cities all over the country, conducting up to 16 phone interviews in one work day, co-running the summer internship program, and partnering on a corporate-wide initiative that was personally examined and approved by Stryker CEO Steve MacMillan. With my own company credit card and more frequent flyer miles than most fully-employed adults, my experience at Stryker was much more than I had expected out of a summer internship. Working for nearly five full months at Stryker challenged and rewarded me in ways I had not anticipated. Throughout my time with the company I was able to successfully complete "the most difficult, time-consuming internship of any intern [at Stryker Medical] this summer" (Julie Smeltzer, head of the Internship Program at Stryker Medical). It gave me a real, nonglamorous look at life within one of corporate America's top companies, and fueled my interest for the research and analyses conducted throughout this project. The primary objective of this project is to tie my personal experiences with Stryker to a thoroughly researched exploration of America's recent shift in hiring practices. This project is composed of four sections: an Introduction, Chapter One: Talent Acquisition and Management at Stryker Medical, Chapter Two: The Shift in Modern Day Hiring and Management Practices, and a Conclusion. The introductory section of the paper will provide a brief history of the Stryker Corporation, a glance at behavior-based recruiting, and will present the thesis for the paper. Chapter One provides a detailed, firsthand analysis of Stryker Medical's recruiting practices based on what I learned and accomplished during my internship. Following this section is Chapter Two, an in-depth, research-based study of hiring practices in America and how such practices are changing as hiring strategies evolve, and will explore the theoretical and practical arguments for and against such changes. This section will analyze and compare traditional and emerging hiring and management theories based on extensive review of existing literature from numerous human resources agencies and experts. To conclude, I will recap my arguments and discuss how my experience with Stryker helped shape me as a person, as well as my aspirations for life after Kalamazoo College.