I think one of the toughest parts of my job is recruiting. It’s not because I don’t like dealing with recruiters, no offense I was one too in a former life (that reminds me, check out Derek Showerman’s blog post on listening to your customers, it applies to recruiters too!). It’s tough because I spend hours upon hours screening resumes, then more time scheduling interviews, and then more time interviewing, and well frankly, there are other aspects of HR that I looooove to do, this is just not it. But, it is a necessary part of the job. The real reason that recruiting is making me crazy is because I feel like I always have hiring managers trying to circumvent me. And I thought I would take a few minutes to explain WHY HR recruits, why just any Joe Schmoe should not be doing it.
First of all, hiring is a job, a full time job, and managers don’t have the time to do it. If you are a manager and you are finding the time to post jobs internally and externally, screen hundreds of resumes (especially these days, people without jobs submit their resumes for EVERYTHING!), coordinate and schedule interviews, actually conduct the interview, and then move on the offer and negotiation process, then when on earth do you have time to do your actual job? My guess is that you don’t have time to do both, so don’t try because you will end up dropping a ball somewhere, and this is not the place to do it. Good employees are the key to success, and Human Resources is here to find that talent, and manage that talent to achieve an organizations success.
The second reason why recruiting should be left to Human Resources (or a recruiter- internal or third party) is that there are a lot of legalities that go into the recruiting process. It is the job of HR to know these laws and make sure that the organization abides by them. Equal opportunity legislation, court decisions, Uniform Guidelines provide an incentive to make sure the selection process is done, and done well. I mean let’s be real, there is a lot of information that one needs to know to recruit properly and legally, in fact there are two whole chapters dedicated to in my text book from the master’s degree courses I took on Human Resources Management. The bottom line is that if a manager discriminates against someone in the hiring process, whether they are aware of it or not, it comes down to a law suit. The Company will have to pay and HR will be responsible.
Lastly, most HR departments have a process for tracking the applicant process (if you don’t you should!). Ensuring that there is a uniform process for tracking applicants keeps thing nice and clean. When you don’t know which is end is up, where a resume came from, what stage in the process they are in, it is complete chaos, which will inevitably get your organization into hot water. Applicants need to be tracked properly; records need to be stored according to Uniform Guidelines (two years!). Voluntary EEOC information needs to be stored properly and confidentially, service agreements with third party recruiters need to be upheld, etc. I don’t think managers are aware of what goes into this process.
Now I am not saying that managers be left out of the process, in fact they should be heavily involved since it is ultimately their decision who gets hired for their department. HR professionals need to educate and train their managers on their processes, policies, interview & hiring guidelines, and the basics of EEOC guidelines. Also, managers need to communicate effectively to HR exactly what it is they are looking for. Writing a concise job description is the first step, using those interview skills, and providing good feedback on candidates helps process along. Communications between all parties is key to keeping your organization out of trouble, and trust your HR department, we only want to preserve the integrity of our organization!