I’ve sat on both sides of that table; I’ve worked as a Recruiting Manager for a multi-state company with the HR team one floor down and I’ve worked as a field HR Manager for a global 3rd party logistics company with the recruiting team (and centralized HR) FAR away in another part of the country. I’ve been an HR leader at various organizations and I’ve managed the functional employment/staffing area for a large organization; to be fair we really weren’t doing much actual recruiting at that one.
And almost without fail, even though recruiting and HR had the same goal of hiring and retaining talented individuals, we were locked in endless battle. In some cases I saw mutual distrust, dislike and downright avoidance of each other. I’m talking corporate in-house recruiters here (fellow team members); don’t even get me started on the reciprocated disdain between HR practitioners and 3rd party recruiters.
The reasons for this dynamic?
- Recruiters often view HR staff as intrusive busy bodies that merely want to insert themselves into the relationship and process between recruiter, hiring manager, and candidate. After all, the thinking goes, in HR the “rules rule” and the focus is on risk-management and dealing with problems and conflict; bottleneck is HR’s middle name.
- HR practitioners think recruiters are free-wheeling glory-seekers – charging off like a blast of fireworks with absolutely no regard for employment law, internal compensation policies, OFCCP directives…you name it.
Fascinating to me.
But this needs to stop. While HR and recruiting may never go skipping down the sunshine paved roadway together they have to develop mutual trust and respect. And whether one believes that recruiting should be part of the HR Department or not it’s critical that practitioners in both areas understand each other in order to work together.
I’m heading off to #DiceTru in Atlanta in February to lead a track on just this topic. As an unconference who knows where the conversation will take us but a few items I hope to discuss are what HR practitioners and recruiters need to do so they can:
- build consistency of culture throughout the candidate and employment experience and understand its impact on engagement
- stop being territorial and share data, information and resources
- work together to build effective referral programs including the use of alumni networks
- effectively use social media to engage with both candidates and employees
- understand why HR policies, procedures and roadblocks exist and agree to adjust or eliminate them when possible
There may not be love, butterflies, rainbows and singing of kumbaya when we’re done but there will hopefully be a bit more understanding.