Should Recruiters Be Accountable For Bad Hires

Remember college? Or maybe you can’t. You slept all day and partied all night. You had zero accountability except making good grades. Then you got a job, spouse, house and kids. And then, Boom! You’re responsible for a lot of things, pal. Like a mortgage, college and keeping your job.

Accountability, it’s the word of the day. And, it may be the Recruitment word of the year. Here is why.

Agencies are accountable for every hire they make, if the person bails or is terminated, then the company can recoup placement fees.

Corporate Recruiters were never accountable. Until now!

HR Departments have shifted their focus on finding and retaining top notch employees. A lot of emphasis has gone to interviewing process for Recruiters. Wiping away poor excuses for bad hires.

Hiring Managers are looking for HR and Recruiters to solve this problem by finding the right candidate – the first time. Using successful interviewing techniques to weed through candidate pools, Recruiters are now responsible for their New Hires too.

But, should Recruiters be held liable if a New Hire is fired? What happens is the New Hire leaves after one month?

Is it the Recruiters responsibility to help retain New Hires too?

Your thoughts and comments please.

Views: 355

Comment by Greg Inguagiato on September 28, 2009 at 12:34pm
At my company we monitor all termination data on a continuous basis. We watch for trends, both positive and negative that either effect an increase or reduction in turnover for all departments. This data is then used to improve the recruitment and screening process. Both the hiring managers and recruitment staff work in tandem, which usually results in a recipe for hiring success. There will always be the proverbial "mismatch" but as long as those are the exceptions and not the rule of the day, all remains well.

Greg Inguagiato
Sr. Recruiting Specialist
Palm Coast Data, FL
Comment by Ron Rafelli on September 28, 2009 at 12:35pm
On the surface, it sounds like a good idea... until you really use your head and think about it. There are so many factors that go into whether a person stays with a company long term. Number one is the hiring manager. I have had to recruit for positions for hiring managers that I wouldn't work with for any amount of money. They are the worst!! The problem with being an "in-house" recruiter is that you cannot fire your client (the hiring manager) like you can if you are a 3rd party recruiter, so you do the best you can to find someone who will "put up" with it. That approach is not always successful. Secondly, we don't set salaries, the Comp department does. Many times they under pay for a position and the person ultimately leaves for more money. My fault? No. Other factors such as a wife relocating for her husband's job (or visa versa), mom or dad leaving the workforce to care for kids, parents, or both, and other personal situations make it impossible to hold a recruiter accountable for the retention and performance of everyone they recruit. On top of that, the "hiring manager" makes the ultimate decision on who to hire, not the recruiter. That said, if a large percentage of the people I recruit are not working out and these other factors are not in play, someone absolutely should ask me what I am doing to pre-screen these candidates. We ALL have some responsibility in the process, but to put the entire burden on the recruiter (or any other individual involved in the process) is not realistic.
Comment by Robert Shockley on September 28, 2009 at 1:28pm
Sure, it's our responsibility to convey as much information about the hiring company & position to the candidate up front to try to prevent bad hires. As Ron said in the previous post, it is ultimately the hiring manager's responsibility to determine the candidate's competency level and interest level for a particular position. Unfortunately, none of us as recruiters knows what anyone will do in any given situation and unfortunately we are in the PEOPLE business!
Comment by Mike Blood on September 28, 2009 at 3:08pm
As Greg points out, termination is hopefully the exception level of service being provided by the Recruiter service. Otherwise, the provider and the associated SLA should be assessed. Recruiters are absolutely accountable…for delivering the best candidate according to a mutually accepted and well defined job description (including; hard/soft skills, relocation, etc.) and client culture match as well. The qualification process must be complemented by the full scope of qualification services the recruiter has contracted with the client. All parties involved (hiring manager, direct report to, recruiter, services representative) must be involved in the termination discovery process. With a well defined SLA, this process is usually time-effective and also facilitates a predefined expectation regarding the recovery (cost, backfill, etc.) options. Whatever level of workflow process is involved with the hire-retain-terminate process (ie. VMS, direct contract), the ability to openly communicate serves to better all people involved, quality process and respective business objectives.
Comment by Mike Bruni on September 28, 2009 at 4:58pm
I don't believe that recruiters should take all of the blame in the event a new hire or any hire for that matter does not work out. I believe it is a team decision. It does start with the recruiter but the recruiter is only part of the total vetting process. The recruiter, hiring manager and team members all have a say in the hiring process and all are part of the final hiring decision. I truly believe that each hire is a collective decision. It is based on input from all parties involved. We all want the right person for the job and not just the first person for the job.

Mike Bruni
Reston, VA
Comment by Nat Cagilaba on September 28, 2009 at 8:00pm
Surely it depends on why they were a "bad" hire! When hiring not only for a skills match but cultural fit, did the work experience live up to employee expectations. From an employer brand perspective did the organisation/department/manager deliver on the promises set out during the recruitment process from first contact to first day at work and beyond. Isn't the easy option to blame the recruiter rather than look more deeply to where the causes may lie.


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