August 1st, 2019 | Sterling

Ownership of the recruitment process: How HR and hiring managers can work in harmony

To help employers find the best person for the job, the recruitment process is often a group effort between HR, hiring managers and external agencies. Yet despite the benefits of involving a range of people in the process, there are challenges too. Here are some of the challenges that can arise with a collaborative approach to hiring and a number of practical action points on how to ensure everyone works in harmony with one another.

  1. Lack of clearly defined roles

    There are multiple stages involved in the recruitment process, including job descriptions, interviews, background checks and job offers. Hiring managers play a key role throughout, and are typically in charge of, for example, completing job descriptions, reviewing CVs, drawing up shortlists, interviewing candidates and, ultimately, making the hiring decision. Meanwhile, HR professionals often take ownership of things like posting vacancies, tracking applications, screening CVs, and supporting hiring managers throughout the entire process to ensure the best person is hired.

    However, if nobody is clear on their specific roles and what is expected of them, the whole process can become confused and inefficient. It’s therefore crucial that the different roles are clearly defined from the start, so that nobody steps on each other’s toes, and everyone respects each other’s responsibilities. It’s also up to HR to provide advice and support to hiring managers on their role in, and understanding of, the whole recruitment process, to ensure a consistent approach across the organisation.

  2. Lack of communication

    With many cooks in the kitchen and many roles to fulfil, problems can crop up when communication falls short. It’s therefore vital that lines of communication are kept open to ensure the process is as smooth and efficient as possible, and any issues are identified and tackled quickly. Communication needs to be ongoing, open and thorough, with regular meetings to discuss the process every step of the way.

    HR can also use meetings to communicate to hiring managers the importance of remaining compliant throughout the recruitment process. Lastly, enable everyone involved in the process the time and space to communicate their thoughts on each candidate, and take everyone’s opinions seriously and with respect.

  3. Hiring managers go rogue

    HR professionals tend to be risk-averse, and often have a better understanding of processes and compliance matters relating to recruitment. On the other hand, hiring managers may be more focused on other issues, such as whether the candidate is a good fit for the team, and may overlook any potential red flags on a CV.

    Also, as they may be less aware than HR of their legal obligations in recruitment, hiring managers are perhaps more likely to go rogue and risk potential discrimination claims. For example, a survey in 2018 by CareerBuilder revealed that 70% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates during the hiring process, and of those, 57% discovered information that caused them not to hire an applicant. If a hiring manager were to check a candidate’s social media profile, which reveals personal information that could influence hiring decisions, and they then show bias against a particular protected characteristic, such as race, religion or gender, the business could be at risk of a discrimination claim.

    It’s therefore vital that HR ensures hiring managers are up to speed on recruitment compliance and that robust equal opportunity policies are in place for everyone to follow.

  4. Inconsistencies in decision making

    When different individuals and departments are responsible for different elements of a hiring decision, this can lead to inconsistent decision making and a lack of adherence to the recruitment process – and when inconsistencies appear in recruitment, the risk of a bad hire increases.

    So, for example, if an employer is carrying out background checks and the process hasn’t been standardised, they run the risk of performing different checks on different people, resulting in it being inaccurate and unfair. This could not only lead to the wrong person being hired and the right person being overlooked, but employers also run the risk of bias in decision making and/or discrimination claims.

    It’s therefore crucial that the entire recruitment process is consistent, with a robust and effective policy in place that is communicated to all involved in hiring, to ensure that everyone makes decisions based on the same criteria at all stages of the process.

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