........and I have the Little Mrs. wait in the car while I go into the bank and talk about the important stuff.


How old are you?  Where have you been the past decade?  Watching All in the Family reruns every night?  They call me old school – but I’m starting to wonder if I no longer deserve that label.  Perhaps you’re the one more deserving…….


Don’t work with HR?  What clients do you work with?  The mechanic down the street?  Your cousin’s Insurance agency?  Most companies large enough to use agencies are also sophisticated enough to involve HR in some capacity.  Now I’ll agree – some of those processes are just a mess and I won’t be successful.  But how do you know which is which until you check it out?


Yes there was a time when hearing “You’ll need to talk to HR” meant “See ya later!” but those times have changed.  HR is most likely the department that can shut you down or welcome you to the mission.  I prefer to think of them as the next (or even the first) step in securing a new client. 


So when I see recruiters touting the old wives tale we were taught decades ago I just have to chuckle a bit.  Throw in the “Well – if we can’t recruit for ya the way we know best – we’ll just have to recruit from ya!” line and you’ve got a real winning business plan! (Not!)


Good luck.  Gotta call an HR guy to see if we can wrap one up this week!

Views: 538

Comment by Amber on October 20, 2011 at 11:23am

@Jerry - very true: I work with whoever my client wants me to work with. As long as the overall process is working, I don't care who I work with or what department they're in. And it's the individuals, not their titles, that make it work or not.

Comment by Samantha Lacey on October 20, 2011 at 11:41am

Jerry, great points made here. I know of a few agencies who won't recruit for our clients as they would have to go through us, their RPO provider. If our resourcing team can't fill a role we will send it out to the agencies on our PSL, these are agencies we've worked with for years and have great relationships with.

On occassion though, we'll take on a new client and one or two of the agencies they have a historical relationship with will refuse to work with us. I can understand their reluctance, many agencies see RPOs as competition, or another barrier between them and the client, but they should realise that if we send them a job req, they are probably only one of around 3 agencies who have had it. They will have an excellent chance of filling it and because of the SLAs and KPIs we have in place with our clients they will receive excellent service with us (timely feedback, plenty of information on the job and culture etc.) If they perform well they could end up on one of our framework agreements supplying more than one of our clients...That means MORE MONEY and MORE PLACEMENTS!!!!!


Not sure why I've ranted on about that, didn't mean to hijack your posting!

Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 20, 2011 at 11:43am

I agree BIG TIME with Jerry's summation of the rites of passage for working or not working with HR.

HR, the Staffing/Talent Acquisition/Employment Group within HR, operates as the Gatekeeper for mostly all employers of respectable size.  And there is good reason for that--to control the Barbarians at the gate and to make sure hiring management is supported and the hiring process is above board.  If HR does not bless you, the external recruiter/Agency, with a contract--you don't get to play on their playground. 

Challenge them and you may win a battle, but not the war.  I ought to know--I was one--a Manager of Staffing and University Relations.  If you were not on our "Approved Agency List" you were out.  So be nice to HR-Staffing.  Respect their role, whether you're on their list or not.  HR-Staffing is always open to bring in viable new assets to meet their recruitment challenges.  You may get a shot if you understand the rules and who ultimately decides who plays.  

Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 20, 2011 at 11:55am
Think about it this way, if you put a job order out to a split partner and the split partner refused to work with you unless they could go around you to your client direct, how long would you work with that partner. Hiring managers are the internal client of HR. Partners don't go around each other if they want to be a partner.
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 20, 2011 at 12:15pm

I've been asked by hiring managers to make agencies "go away", kind of a good cop / bad cop thing.  After all, someday that hiring manager may be looking for a job and want the agency to help them land elsewhere - if they tell them what they REALLY think that might not work so well.  It's cute when some agency recruiters think that if only I would get out of the way they'd have some lovefest with my hiring manager.  Certainly not always the case but happens more than I would have suspected before I started in house.

Comment by Bill Schultz on October 20, 2011 at 12:24pm

I rarely work with HR and I do watch All in the Family reruns.  I work with startups where hiring is the #1 priority.  Once in a while there's an HR person who approves our fees (usually it's the CFO) and steps aside.

When the company gets big enough to have an HR infrastructure, we've usually moved on to a new adventure.  

Comment by Raphael Fang on October 20, 2011 at 3:08pm

From my experience, receptionists will shut me out quicker than any HR person.  HR Department can be reasoned with and you can prove your case to them on why you will be their asset.  

Comment by Luke Collard on October 21, 2011 at 12:33am

Luckily I work in R2R so I don't often come across HR. When I was recruiting in other sectors HR were often  there, ready to mess things up with a slow, uncommercial and dictatorial approach. But not all - some were very good to work with and made it easier than dealing with a busy line manager who had recruitment low down of his list of priorities.

General advice - you will get a better result if you make friends with your enemies (if they are that) and if you can't get them onside (even after raising the issues with the hiring manager) then do what Bill does - go and play elsewhere.

Comment by Ron Kubitz on October 21, 2011 at 10:56am

Having been a agency recruiter for 15 years and now on the HR side I see first hand the tens of calls that I receive daily from agency recruiters (most laughingly ineffective).


Bottom line is I do have a budget for external recruiters and if you are nice to me and we can set the rules together you have a shot if not....I will make your life miserable. My managers are trained not to deal with external recruiters so I am the only shot you have!

Comment by Amber on October 21, 2011 at 11:17am

@Ron, when you were an agency recruiter did you have to make calls to potential clients? Looking from the other side now, are the calls you find ineffective similar to the ones you made then?


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