Should your HR Department Recruit?

Should human resources’ responsibilities include recruiting?  Many organizations rely on their HR leaders to wear many hats that require a diverse range of skills.  They have to spread their time over so many responsibilities to meet all the demands of an organization.  Your HR Manager might need to be a bona-fide superhero to keep up with the sheer volume of constantly changing responsibilities.  Unless your organization dedicates someone to talent acquisition, it is optimistic to expect your HR department to have the time necessary to find the best talent.

Human Resources Responsibilities

HR functions can be split into two categories, labor relations and employee relations. Each of these has their own responsibilities and challenges.

Labor Relations typically include:

  • contract administration
  • settlement agreements
  • employee discipline
  • grievances
  • arbitration
  • harassment/discrimination investigations
  • a host of other duties depending on the day

Employee relations can include:

  • compliance with local, state, and federal labor laws
  • administration of benefits
  • retiree benefits
  • compensation
  • performance evaluations
  • employee transfers
  • workforce development
  • hiring
  • new employee orientation
HR people have a tremendous amount of tasks and responsibility

Unless you have an extremely large and experienced HR staff, it is no surprise that they are often stretched thin.  Just look at the responsibilities listed in a typical Human Resources Manager job description here.  In addition to screening and vetting candidates, asking human resources to find you the best talent for any position will likely require diverting attention from their other critical responsibilities.

Outsourcing to a Recruiter

I liken the situation to a general contractor building a new home.  Many builders will sub-out portions of the construction, like roofing.  Sure, the general contractor could probably install the roof.  Instead they focus on their core competencies and  hire a professional roofer, because the roofer has the time, tools, and knowledge to get quality results, more quickly and efficiently.  The same can be true with recruiting.  Your HR staff probably has the knowledge and skills to recruit a top candidate.  They may not have the time, tools, and network to get the job done as effectively and efficiently as a professional recruiter.

Differences Between Outsourcing and Recruiting Internally

Many companies rely on job ads and postings to source candidates, hoping that a good candidate will find it and apply.  This can work well for entry level or touch labor positions that do not require specific skills.  Also, this method only reaches people who are actively looking for employment, many of which are unemployed. Often, the best candidate for a job is employed and not actively looking at postings. Finding the best candidate often requires direct sourcing methods, which takes significant time to execute, and referral networks which take years to build.  It’s unreasonable to expect your HR department to invest their time on these tasks, while maintaining their other responsibilities.

Professional recruiters (internal or external) are talented at tapping their networks and identifying the candidates that truly fit the needs of the position, regardless of the candidate’s employment status.  They rarely find those candidates through traditional ads, but it takes time and significant focus to source directly.

Listen to Your Human Resources Leader

A recent SHRM study revealed that speed, further access to talent, and HR’s focus on other responsibilities are common reasons companies outsource recruiting.  So, when your HR recommends engaging a recruiter to fill a critical position, don’t look at them as not being committed.  In reality, the opposite is likely true because they are astute in recognizing their department’s resource limits and care tremendously that the best person be found.

By recommending the use of a recruiter, HR leaders are able to supplement their efforts; giving their organization an opportunity to find the best available candidate, as opposed to the best applicant.  I’ve seen many HR managers reluctant to recommend hiring a recruiter because they have faced scrutiny in the past.  Strategically speaking, if you want to find the best available talent, listen to your HR leader’s recommendation.  They’ll know best whether an outsource makes sense or not.

About Executek

Executek Recruiting Partners is an executive search and recruiting firm dedicated to helping manufacturing and industrial companies.  If you have a search you want to outsource or just want to learn more about our services.  Contact us today.  We never charge a fee for a phone call.

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