One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to travel around nationally and talk to HR and talent pros from all kinds of industries and corporations.
If I ask this one simple question: "What part of your HR shop needs the most work?" - the answer is "recruiting!" almost 100 percent of the time.
The reason most of my peers say that recruiting needs fixing is because they know this is the most visible function within the HR shop.
When recruiting is going well, HR has a higher performance rating across all of HR. When recruiting is going poorly, the entire HR team takes the hit!
You really can't say that about any other function within HR.
Why is the recruiting function broken?
Sorry to break the news but the answer is, "It's you!"
Talent acquisition is unique in that it really is the one part of HR that has very non-subjective, hard, measurable, real metrics. Almost every other metric in the HR shop is completely subjective, but you can't be subjective about things like the number of:
- calls made to candidates
- resumes screened and passed on to hiring managers
- interviews conducted
- hires made each month
I won't get into the subjective talent acquisition measures such as ‘Quality of Hire' or ‘Days to Fill'. For now, let's keep it black and white and focus on getting your shop fixed.
Corporately, talent acquisition doesn't fix itself because deep down (in places we don't talk about in self-assessments), we don't want to really be held accountable - at least not to the black and white level!
For all that HR does to ensure performance management is done by hiring managers, HR hates to participate in the process itself! Most HR pros choose HR because of the lack of real measures. HR is considered by most business professionals as a ‘soft' profession, meaning that although HR professionals work hard, at the end of the day the function really isn't held accountable to the results of the business. That's hard to hear, but fairly accurate in most HR shops.
The fact is, when it comes to recruiting within any industry, company or country, there are certain activities (functions) within recruiting that, if done consistently, will lead to greater outcomes (those outcomes being more placements).
The staffing industry (a $5 billion industry) understands this, and also understands that HR won't perform these activities. That's why staffing firms make all that money - because HR leaders are unwilling to hold their own team accountable to the parts of their job that are most important.
Hold recruiters accountable
Recruiting is a simple equation of contacting and screening enough candidates + interviews = hires. Don't make it more complicated - it's not.
Want to change your talent acquisition department's perception, almost overnight? Start holding your recruiters accountable to the activity that drives placements. Put hard measures in place and compensate those metrics on a scale that rewards those meeting and exceeding those metrics.
It's actually very simple to do and start, yet 98 percent of corporate recruiting shops don't do this.
Why? Because it's uncomfortable.
It will make you look at all HR functions and how we measure everyone's performance. In a nutshell, it opens Pandora's Box within HR and performance.
Your turn: Do you think HR and recruiters need to be more accountable when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of the talent acquisition process?
For more on talent acquisition and what it takes to do it well, read The ‘lost dog' recruiting strategy.