A long while ago, I wrote a post about candidates who bypass human resources in the hiring process. Recently, there’s been some spirited discussion on this post. You can check out the original post and comments here.
In thinking about the comments, I wanted to share some additional thoughts. I haven’t changed my position. I would still caution people about bypassing human resources to get an interview. I can’t help but think a department manager will always wonder when you’re going to bypass them. (FYI – In my experience, it’s when employees bypass the department to complain to HR about something. Oh yeah, remember you bypassed HR too…)
But the comments took an interesting turn. The focus shifted to whether or not human resources should be a part of the recruiting process because, it was assumed, they don’t know the job. Which I think is a totally different subject.
I remember recruiting for technology positions years ago. I knew nothing about technology applications. So the candidate interviewed with the department first. If the department said they had the technical ability then they interviewed with HR to see if they were a good corporate fit. Of course, this always seemed backward to me because it put more work on the department. And I thought part of my job was to make the department’s life easier.
While I would never know as much as most of the technology candidates, I tried to learn a few things that would allow me to evaluate their technical ability. The department appreciated it. I learned a lot. And I think the candidates got a better experience.
Human resources needs to be involved in the recruiting process. And I’m not just saying that because I’m an HR pro. The process of designing jobs, analyzing staffing needs, creating a recruiting strategy and managing that plan is complex. It’s not – “Need a person. You fit the bill. Hired. Get to work.”
On top of that, it’s unfortunate to say but we live in a very litigious society and the interviewing process needs some level of consistency. HR has to bear the ‘consistency police’ label. That being said, human resources can provide value in the area of consistency by:
- Looking for top talent even when a requisition isn’t open
- Ensuring candidates align with the company’s culture and core competencies
- Forwarding candidates to department managers that consistently meet the job requirements
This makes the department manager’s job so much easier. They can focus on the specific skills of the position and departmental fit. Human resources and operational managers have to work together to create a hiring process that fits both the needs of the company and the department.
I want to thank everyone who commented on this post and challenged my thinking. It’s conversations like this one that allow us to re-examine what we do to make sure our actions are in alignment. Because the one thing that will help us all succeed is knowing that everyone is working in the best interest of the organization.