Yes, a much discussed question in our field today. How will Talent Management as its own discipline impact traditional HR structures? Does it make sense for HR and Recruiting to stay married or should Recruiting report elsewhere?

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As someone who has an HR Designation, as well as experience in Recruiting and Sourcing -- I lean towards a divorce. Recruiting is a sales-like function and many graduates of HR schools don't "get" it, and what they do "get" is 20 years old. Frankly, when I talk to HR grads about recruiting, I'm scared for the future of the function. To spell it out - that HR has to do everything, like recruiting, because the business would discriminate like the cavemen/cavewomen they are.

Another thing I hear, is a focus on being a gatekeeper (keeping people out). Not exactly forward thinking for today's talent wars.

"Recruitment" in most corporations, affiliated with HR is run like a mini cost-centre, and if there's any qualitative hope for the function, outside of measuring knuckle-bleeding "cost savings", I would align myself with Finance, over HR, any day of the week. Recruiting is a critical contributor to the bottom line, and I'm not sure giving HR another 30 years to figure it out, is such a great idea.

Some will kill me for saying Finance, but let's think about it a little... Why report into Darth Vader (HR) when you can report directly to the Emperor (Finance)?

Maybe all of "Personnel" should report into Finance... LOL
Using a factual approach where the majority, in many companies up to 80% of roles are filled from within, recruitment is limited to external applicants, or feeding a steady supply of good talent that can grow with the business.

With a more strategic approach to talent management, I would suggest there is a closer relationship than ever between HR and Recruiting.

The deeper question is more about how it is done. I have worked very closely with an external recruiter that did all recruiting and we saved 30% in costs plus improved quality, so it is about the business case.

Employer branding and communication are two areas that are strongly related to Marketing, building on Sandra's comments.
I disagree that recruiting should be moved out of HR. At the end of the day, acquisition, management and development of your people IS the biggest assest of a company, product and services come next. HR as a total and united unit is all about hiring, retention, training, development, and performance management. And if those of you think recruiting is "just" a sales function, then you have it skewed wrong within your organization. You can't sell a hiring manager a candidate who isn't qualified to do a job, nor can you sell a candidate on a job with a company that does not meet their core values. It just doesn't work.
Hi Peter,

Good points. From a philosophical standpoint, I know where you're coming from, it's just hard to believe HR when it sounds, so frequently, like a communist state. The ideal labour position of any capitalistic organization is zero headcount -- so I don't buy the position the "people are our greatest assets" because it's not sound business. Similarly, I know of no successful company that *really* puts the product behind the people... I can't see it working out very well... even in a state with centralized planning.

I don't think we're too far apart re: recruiting. Being sales focused doesn't mean "selling" a bad fit. The only goal, with hiring -- like any collectible -- should be to collect the best set [of employees] at any given point in time. This means hiring people to round out each team, or strategic need.

That is until the happy robots come and take away our jobs :)

Where we differ, is that most people I recruit don't care so much about company values. I think most are concerned about "company culture", but this is usually a secondary concern to (1) money, (2) opportunity, (3) location, and (4) chance to do something cool. Further, I strongly believe that people, everyday, act against their morals, for the right combination of 1-4. In The Milgram experiments, for instance, it was demonstrated that many people will do almost anything -- horrible things, even -- as long as a perceived authority figure tells them what to do.

Some may feel this is a dim view on humanity and HR, but I'm just stating what seems obvious to me.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I disagree that recruiting should be moved out of HR. At the end of the day, acquisition, management and development of your people IS the biggest assest of a company, product and services come next. HR as a total and united unit is all about hiring, retention, training, development, and performance management. And if those of you think recruiting is "just" a sales function, then you have it skewed wrong within your organization. You can't sell a hiring manager a candidate who isn't qualified to do a job, nor can you sell a candidate on a job with a company that does not meet their core values. It just doesn't work.
Are you in Europe then? That would explain some of your point of view!

Harold Ensley said:
Hi Peter,

Good points. From a philosophical standpoint, I know where you're coming from, it's just hard to believe HR when it sounds, so frequently, like a communist state. The ideal labour position of any capitalistic organization is zero headcount -- so I don't buy the position the "people are our greatest assets" because it's not sound business. Similarly, I know of no successful company that *really* puts the product behind the people... I can't see it working out very well... even in a state with centralized planning.

I don't think we're too far apart re: recruiting. Being sales focused doesn't mean "selling" a bad fit. The only goal, with hiring -- like any collectible -- should be to collect the best set [of employees] at any given point in time. This means hiring people to round out each team, or strategic need.

That is until the happy robots come and take away our jobs :)

Where we differ, is that most people I recruit don't care so much about company values. I think most are concerned about "company culture", but this is usually a secondary concern to (1) money, (2) opportunity, (3) location, and (4) chance to do something cool. Further, I strongly believe that people, everyday, act against their morals, for the right combination of 1-4. In The Milgram experiments, for instance, it was demonstrated that many people will do almost anything -- horrible things, even -- as long as a perceived authority figure tells them what to do.

Some may feel this is a dim view on humanity and HR, but I'm just stating what seems obvious to me.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I disagree that recruiting should be moved out of HR. At the end of the day, acquisition, management and development of your people IS the biggest assest of a company, product and services come next. HR as a total and united unit is all about hiring, retention, training, development, and performance management. And if those of you think recruiting is "just" a sales function, then you have it skewed wrong within your organization. You can't sell a hiring manager a candidate who isn't qualified to do a job, nor can you sell a candidate on a job with a company that does not meet their core values. It just doesn't work.
Worse, Canada!
OK... Canada isn't that bad, but it's a very conservative business culture.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
Are you in Europe then? That would explain some of your point of view!

Harold Ensley said:
Hi Peter,

Good points. From a philosophical standpoint, I know where you're coming from, it's just hard to believe HR when it sounds, so frequently, like a communist state. The ideal labour position of any capitalistic organization is zero headcount -- so I don't buy the position the "people are our greatest assets" because it's not sound business. Similarly, I know of no successful company that *really* puts the product behind the people... I can't see it working out very well... even in a state with centralized planning.

I don't think we're too far apart re: recruiting. Being sales focused doesn't mean "selling" a bad fit. The only goal, with hiring -- like any collectible -- should be to collect the best set [of employees] at any given point in time. This means hiring people to round out each team, or strategic need.

That is until the happy robots come and take away our jobs :)

Where we differ, is that most people I recruit don't care so much about company values. I think most are concerned about "company culture", but this is usually a secondary concern to (1) money, (2) opportunity, (3) location, and (4) chance to do something cool. Further, I strongly believe that people, everyday, act against their morals, for the right combination of 1-4. In The Milgram experiments, for instance, it was demonstrated that many people will do almost anything -- horrible things, even -- as long as a perceived authority figure tells them what to do.

Some may feel this is a dim view on humanity and HR, but I'm just stating what seems obvious to me.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I disagree that recruiting should be moved out of HR. At the end of the day, acquisition, management and development of your people IS the biggest assest of a company, product and services come next. HR as a total and united unit is all about hiring, retention, training, development, and performance management. And if those of you think recruiting is "just" a sales function, then you have it skewed wrong within your organization. You can't sell a hiring manager a candidate who isn't qualified to do a job, nor can you sell a candidate on a job with a company that does not meet their core values. It just doesn't work.
My Mother's Canadian, so I'm never allowed to say anything bad. Love Vancouver! And from Seattle it's a short ride. Great skiing in the Rockies (Banff, Lake Louise), one of my favorites. So there is much to be happy about in Canada.

Harold Ensley said:
Worse, Canada!
OK... Canada isn't that bad, but it's a very conservative business culture.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
Are you in Europe then? That would explain some of your point of view!

Harold Ensley said:
Hi Peter,

Good points. From a philosophical standpoint, I know where you're coming from, it's just hard to believe HR when it sounds, so frequently, like a communist state. The ideal labour position of any capitalistic organization is zero headcount -- so I don't buy the position the "people are our greatest assets" because it's not sound business. Similarly, I know of no successful company that *really* puts the product behind the people... I can't see it working out very well... even in a state with centralized planning.

I don't think we're too far apart re: recruiting. Being sales focused doesn't mean "selling" a bad fit. The only goal, with hiring -- like any collectible -- should be to collect the best set [of employees] at any given point in time. This means hiring people to round out each team, or strategic need.

That is until the happy robots come and take away our jobs :)

Where we differ, is that most people I recruit don't care so much about company values. I think most are concerned about "company culture", but this is usually a secondary concern to (1) money, (2) opportunity, (3) location, and (4) chance to do something cool. Further, I strongly believe that people, everyday, act against their morals, for the right combination of 1-4. In The Milgram experiments, for instance, it was demonstrated that many people will do almost anything -- horrible things, even -- as long as a perceived authority figure tells them what to do.

Some may feel this is a dim view on humanity and HR, but I'm just stating what seems obvious to me.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I disagree that recruiting should be moved out of HR. At the end of the day, acquisition, management and development of your people IS the biggest assest of a company, product and services come next. HR as a total and united unit is all about hiring, retention, training, development, and performance management. And if those of you think recruiting is "just" a sales function, then you have it skewed wrong within your organization. You can't sell a hiring manager a candidate who isn't qualified to do a job, nor can you sell a candidate on a job with a company that does not meet their core values. It just doesn't work.
Hi Karen,

I think you can look at Maslow's hierarchy a few ways. The base of the hierarchy is basic security needs - and it's hard to obtain this without a job, evil or not. If security was the top of the hierarchy, preventing actualization, then ethics, morals, etc. might come into play a little more. The fact that security is at the bottom (without the bottom we can't really function) I think most people just do what they have to do, just to get by - including working for companies with poor environmental records, employee relations, make questionable products, handle undesirable societal ills, etc.

And despite where people work, when they so something against their core values it's "just business".

You're probably right on references, etc, there are some potential counterbalances there. Overall I think the hierarchy is an excellent model, great point.
Harold- Very well said. I am someone that has been on both sides of the desk both as a recruiter (own my own recruiting company) and also as an HR Director. HR generally doesn't have a clue about the fact that recruiting IS SALES...PURE AND SIMPLE (and thank God for that, sales people love recruiting!). HR is generally too worried about some defensive psuedo-legal garbage instead of finding A PLAYERS. Great recruiting is the life blood of any top organization whether that be a great company, sports team, successful philanthropy, etc. Any truly great group is formed by someone's passion to be a little better than the next guy.

Harold Ensley said:
As someone who has an HR Designation, as well as experience in Recruiting and Sourcing -- I lean towards a divorce. Recruiting is a sales-like function and many graduates of HR schools don't "get" it, and what they do "get" is 20 years old. Frankly, when I talk to HR grads about recruiting, I'm scared for the future of the function. To spell it out - that HR has to do everything, like recruiting, because the business would discriminate like the cavemen/cavewomen they are.

Another thing I hear, is a focus on being a gatekeeper (keeping people out). Not exactly forward thinking for today's talent wars.

"Recruitment" in most corporations, affiliated with HR is run like a mini cost-centre, and if there's any qualitative hope for the function, outside of measuring knuckle-bleeding "cost savings", I would align myself with Finance, over HR, any day of the week. Recruiting is a critical contributor to the bottom line, and I'm not sure giving HR another 30 years to figure it out, is such a great idea.

Some will kill me for saying Finance, but let's think about it a little... Why report into Darth Vader (HR) when you can report directly to the Emperor (Finance)?

Maybe all of "Personnel" should report into Finance... LOL
I tend to agree with Sandra. I was a corporate HR guy for 25+ years before I joined the "dark side" and became a recruiter. My education is in HR and my experience has been exclusively in HR.

I think Karen is correct about the government agencies. Unfortunately, those agencies and the requirement that employers conform to their edicts are the very reason that HR today is so transactional and has so little strategic value, perceived or real, in corporations. HR is about people and their talents, not about government and their bureaucracy.

When companies get really serious about recruiting, particularly at the senior levels, is it at all likely that the finance mavens are going to set strategic direction in healthy and growing corporations? I think not. I think that the market place and therefore the marketing function make far greater sense.

There will always be a need for compliance, but compliance should not be HR. There are very different mindsets involved when contemplating what could be as opposed to what we must do to avoid . . . or what the net worth will be if. . . .

Sandra McCartt said:
Interesting that you mention finance, two of our clients have just moved HR under the CFO, moved recruiting completely away from HR, formed a talent acquisition and retention group that works more closely with the hiring managers in business development and marketing. I think as we see more social network recruiting and branding as companies compete for the best they can find recruiting is fast becoming a department unto itself. The recruiters i am seeing being hired for internal positions are coming from the marketing verticle as opposed to HR.
Hi Sandra,

I've been meaning to reply to you - I think that is an excellent structure. Especially the idea of marrying talent acquisition and retention. Touching on John's question above, I think most organizations could really benefit from integrating talent management-like disciplines and Recruiting.

HR will likewise benefit from being closer to the bottom line, and liberating it from the old-school "hire", "fire", and administer mentality. Much of it is like Finance anyways, especially if you think about things like pensions, benefits, compensation, headcount budgets, etc. etc.



Sandra McCartt said:
Interesting that you mention finance, two of our clients have just moved HR under the CFO, moved recruiting completely away from HR, formed a talent acquisition and retention group that works more closely with the hiring managers in business development and marketing. I think as we see more social network recruiting and branding as companies compete for the best they can find recruiting is fast becoming a department unto itself. The recruiters i am seeing being hired for internal positions are coming from the marketing verticle as opposed to HR.
Tough one. I think most people tend to vote with their feet, when they're dealing with companies like this -- that is, if there's other jobs to be had. I'm not certain HR has a role in changing corporate cultures - we can certainly advise people of their options, and the consequences of each option, but a lot of the bad behavior is driven by sales, or keeping costs down - that's been my experience.

Typically, what happens, is that bad behavior persists, until it impacts profitability, and a death-bed conversion occurs. For the record, I'm speaking in general terms, about leadership.

I think the value of HR and Recruiting, is to demonstrate the positive relationship between profit, engagement, leadership, and talent. The business, however, needs to be the change agent and driver in all things - not HR.

Fundamentally, I don't hate HR, and I hope no one takes my comments this way, but I'm more concerned about new thought leadership. I see a lot of HR as completely reactive - administrative - when it needs to be more proactive in nature. The best way it can enable itself to this end, is to split off pieces that don't belong (recruiting, retention, finance like functions), stop trying to police, and lose the communist-like slogans about people -- mostly because they are untrue and Orwellian in nature. There's a reason many successful business people don't respect HR.

Mission, vision, goals. Know what you want to do, and do it very well.

KarenM said:
Excellent point about security being towards the bottom Harold, and yes, people will indeed do a lot to fit in - reminds me so much of Enron. In the documentary Enron the smartest guys in the boardroom, they did an excellent job of demonstrating how easy it was for many individuals were able to succumb to the peer pressure, and / or environment - in this regard, that many areas of the heiarachy is being met. Security from money, and of course working with what was thought to be one of the best companies, and of course you had acceptance and love from your peers, and there was fear of repercussions if you didn't try to fit in.. and so on.. so, yeah, it does make a lot of sense in regards to Milgram
But, being the dreamer that I am, I would like to believe that there are more good people, good workers, who generally have a strong sense of right and wrong and are able to discern and walk away.
Maybe we can look at the opposite as well? maybe? what about Ennui? What if within a company there is lack of interest in the employees, their welfare, and the corporate culture by the powers that be, then is it possible that it will trickle down the totem pole? Which then may trigger the aspect of security? concern for future? the lack of sense of achievement? or do we become listless? and lose that desire?

So, bringing this back to topic? Does HR and Recruiting have a lot to do to help promote this? fix it, or even create the problem? Can recruiting from the feedback they get from the street rely that HR will heed them, and address problems within companies and corporations? and will corporations care to make changes?

Recruiting to me are the Ambassadors of the Company, they are the mouthpiece, and the cheerleaders. They are the ones who promote and sell the company.. but, at the same time, how in good conscience can we sell something that we don't believe in? Which then brings us back to both Maslow and Milgram..

Harold Ensley said:
Hi Karen,

I think you can look at Maslow's hierarchy a few ways. The base of the hierarchy is basic security needs - and it's hard to obtain this without a job, evil or not. If security was the top of the hierarchy, preventing actualization, then ethics, morals, etc. might come into play a little more. The fact that security is at the bottom (without the bottom we can't really function) I think most people just do what they have to do, just to get by - including working for companies with poor environmental records, employee relations, make questionable products, handle undesirable societal ills, etc. And despite where people work, when they so something against their core values it's "just business".

You're probably right on references, etc, there are some potential counterbalances there. Overall I think the hierarchy is an excellent model, great point.

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