Should Recruiting Get the Boot?

by Michael Haberman on September 30, 2009 · 4 comments


There is alot of discussion about how to change HR ranging from “trash it completely” to “I am ok with the way it is.” I am in the middle. I am not ready to dismantle the HR department. I don’t think you can. But it can and should change in a number of arenas. HR people need more cross training in business and in their company’s business in particular. For that matter business people, the other managers, need more cross training in HR. It would be an eye opener.

Thinking along those lines I thought a good place to start would be in recruiting. Alot of people complain about HR and the recruiting function. Contingency and contract recruiters always avoid HR and try to get to the functional manager. The functional managers are always complaining about slow the in-house recruiters are in finding people. And in-house recruiters actually see themselves as the “non-HR” side of HR, more the sales and marketing wing of HR.

So lets give recruiting the boot from HR. Make recruiting the responsibility of the functional departments. HR can train them on interviewing, the laws they have to abide by (as if they would) and give them the proper format for an offer letter. Make each department have a recruiting specialist reporting to the functional manager. Eveyone will be happy then. The outside recruiters will have someone to deal with that “actually knows the job.” Managers will have control on the speed of the search and the cost of the search.

HR can then do that administrative and compliance stuff, because after all that is what we are supposed to do best. We will sign up those new employees and then hand them back to the hiring department. Everyone is happy. (Edited comment… I was being very sarcastic here.)

BTW, those functional departments will also be responsible for handling the EEOC suits and contractual violation lawsuits that are filed. After all HR had nothing to do with it, so don’t come crying to us.

What do you think? Do I have a winner here?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR September 30, 2009 at 10:13 am

You know I have to comment on the "admin and compliance stuff" that we do best. I think there is our problem, we need to be best at other stuff…like analytics, like business savvy, because admin and compliance can be outsourced too, then what?

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Michael D. Haberman, SPHR September 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

Cathy, that was a tongue in cheek comment. The sarcasm was there. I agree that much can be outsourced. I do disagree that the compliance can be outsourced. Perhaps to a degree, but to me compliance (and that depends on how you define it)is so wrapped up into day to day employee relations that it is the one HR function that cannot be outsourced, assuming you have any HR function at all. Someone has to know the rules that the government forces us to operate by.

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BarbaraAHughes September 30, 2009 at 11:14 am

Wow, Mike, I didn't get the sarcasm either; thought you'd jumped ship!
I'm not an HR guru and don't play one on TV but as a manager, I relied on our HR professionals to create an environment (safe, compliant, no dumb or illegal questions)that made it possible for me to do a good job of interviewing a prospective candidate. Post interview, I'd debrief with my HR team member. That way, I think the business benefitted from our combined savvy.

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Michael D. Haberman, SPHR September 30, 2009 at 11:27 am

Barbara: I have since put an edit in to indicate I was being sarcastic. Thanks for the feedback.

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