Scaling the Castle Walls

Human Resource personnel provide a great value to their companies and to staffing firms.  I believe that they help restore order and maintain balance to the very difficult process of hiring.  In today’s marketplace, there are countless pitfalls and processes that must be micromanaged as the hiring process is fraught with issues that arise.  I remind my staff quite often that we are in the "people" business, selling a process that must be managed securely from beginning to end.  Our Vice President of Human Resources and Administration is invaluable to our firm as she handles all new hires and monitors our processes and practices daily.  We simply won’t make any final decisions without first consulting with her to hear her viewpoints and expertise.

After working with Human Resources people for more than 28 years, valuing and appreciating the services and practices they follow, I’d like further clarity as to why they prevent conversations between the direct hiring authority and the staffing provider.  I am certain that a few of you are clucking out loud right now – but hear me out.  The first triumph must be that a relationship has been solidified and you feel secure and trust your staffing provider.  Any professional should abide by and listen to the boundaries and expectations you set as an HR hiring professional.  However, how can you honestly be expected to know IT, Creative, Accounting & Finance, Marketing and all the other categories of hiring like the expert Managers of these departments do, along with handling all of the other tasks and daily fires that occur in HR?  We deflect questions daily from our existing clients asking us "Why can’t they work with the same person for all of their staffing requirements?"  We simply explain that our IT recruiting staff simply wouldn’t know how to directly recruit for a Derivatives Accountant the same way our Accounting & Finance team would.  

With all of the extra demands and pressures of HR professionals today, it would seem to make sense to allow the managers to speak directly to the staffing partners.  As long as there are clear boundaries and procedures that are followed, I believe with strong communication this arrangement could be equitable for all parties involved.  We have found great success at McIntyre when all parties are involved at their appropriate levels.  HR handles the staffing arrangements, meets the vendors, handles all of the paperwork and compliance issues, and manages the process.  These are the key strengths of a strong human resources team.  But HR’s strength isn’t in reviewing resumes for areas that they don’t have an expertise in.  The management team should issue the job description, which HR should review and approve.  The resume review and communication should be conducted directly with the manager and staffing partner.  Once candidates are selected and interviews are set, the process should return to Human Resources for follow up and next steps.  Staffing partners can provide a much greater level of talent when the managers are allowed to converse directly with them.  We also have the opportunity to gauge their personality, understand their personal style and fit, as well as what’s truly important to them (details that are not on the job description) or perhaps known by the HR contact.  Staffing managers will also work harder when they have the engagement and involvement of the managers.  They feel that they are truly being valued and entrusted with an important process and not just sending resumes into a "black hole." 

We understand that companies today are facing great challenges.  We also know that HR departments are tethered and stretched way beyond the boundaries of years prior.  I myself have witnessed the greatest challenges over my 28+ years in staffing, just in these past five years; seeing things I never thought possible in prior years.  Social media and technology have caused companies great angst and frustration with laws being created daily to help navigate these new dark waters.  But I promise you, there are still trustworthy, honest recruiters out there that are proud to be in this industry.  If you are selective in hiring your staffing partners and take the time to create true partnerships with us, the outcome can be truly remarkable.


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