Why Recruiting and the Hiring Departments Must Be a Team

Has central recruitment become expendable? Aren’t the hiring departments of a company actually the better recruiters, the ones who know what is important when hiring new candidates? Here are seven reasons why this debate is not fruitful and why HR and the departments urgently need to work together.

The relationship between the hiring departments of companies and Recruiting is not all roses right now, to put it mildly. The hiring departments believe they are the better recruiters – the buzzword is “hiring manager” – and complain about the quality of the candidates provided by the recruiters. Recruiting, meanwhile, is critical of the lack of support from the hiring departments and their unrealistic expectations, completely divorced from the market situation.

Both are right to a certain extent. Ultimately, however, this debate doesn’t help anyone. Because there is an easy answer to the question of which of the two is responsible for recruiting success: both! But only if they work together as a team and view recruitment as a joint task. But why is that? Let’s have a look at the best arguments for why the recruitment process benefits from the respective department and recruiting working in tandem and how the two participants benefit from each other.

Why Recruiting should incorporate the hiring department in the recruiting process

Without the hiring department, recruitment cannot be effective. Period. There are four reasons for this:

The hiring department knows the requirements best

Recruiters who are responsible for a number of different departments, let alone the whole company, cannot be experts on everything. It is the hiring department that knows best what is required of the new employee. As a result, it needs to work closely with Recruiting to develop a job profile.

The hiring department also plays a key role in candidate preselection. If applicants are few and far between, it is very hard to find the perfect candidate, someone who fits the bill completely. A specialized manager can assess the skills and experiences of the applicants and thus filter out candidates who in many cases would go through Recruiting’s net.

Candidates want to talk on an equal footing

Candidates are interested in their future duties and in the team in which they will work. They want to know whether the job will be challenging and whether it will advance their career. They want to talk shop. So the hiring department is the right contact partner for them. Thus, applicants should talk with the hiring department, with their future superiors, as early as possible.

The employees in the department have a big network

Most of the employees in the departments are well connected. They know business partners and former colleagues, visit trade shows and conferences. They can chat informally with suitable candidates. And social media simplify direct contact and referrals.

So that the hiring department does not exclude recruiting as it takes these paths, recruiters should actively approach the network of employees and ask them for referrals.

The hiring department will come to appreciate recruiting’s work and takes on more responsibility

It is easy to moan about a lack of good candidates when one doesn’t have to find them oneself. It is therefore in the interest of the recruiting department to integrate the hiring department into the recruitment process at an early stage.

The hiring department will quickly learn that good candidates don’t grow on trees and that, although the candidates who have been selected are not perfect, they are the best possible choices in the respective situation. People who are co-responsible do not grumble as much because they have to pitch in.

Why the hiring department is dependent on the recruiting department in the recruiting process

Can’t the hiring manager, be solely responsible for recruitment? There are three reasons why central recruiting is indispensable:

Perfect recruiting requires central responsibility

You can call it employer branding or not, but if the employer does not have a uniform image and optimized recruitment processes, it will be very hard to attract highly qualified employees. The path from initial contact to signed contract consists of many small steps. An “employees recruit employees” program needs framework conditions.

Only if the recruitment department has the overall responsibility can all recruitment processes run properly (compliantly) and in keeping with the company’s aims, and can the candidates receive the necessary support.

Active sourcing requires time and resources

The days of post & spray are gone. Publishing job ads and waiting until applications turn up doesn’t work anymore. While the department plays an important role when it comes to filling positions with high requirements, recruitment is not something that can be done on the side, on top, so to speak.

Only the recruitment department has the resources to develop specific recruiting concepts geared to the target group, to cover all channels, and to actively approach candidates. And after all, that’s what recruiters are there for!

New target groups and technologies require constant adaptation

Departments themselves are busy staying on the ball in their areas of expertise, keeping up with new technology trends, and preempting the competition. Things are no different in recruiting. On the contrary, the labor market, as well as the expectations placed on employees, are constantly changing. Strategies for winning over and retaining employees have to be adapted, and new recruitment channels have to be tested and implemented continually.

As a recruitment specialist and trendsetter, the recruitment department can be indispensable as a partner of the hiring department. For the recruiting department, this is both an opportunity and a task.

Successful recruiting is only possible together

Recruitment is a challenge of our age, and this is nothing new. Not just for innovation-driven companies that need specialists—even the German “Deutsche Post” isn’t finding enough qualified applicants. The hiring department and recruiting have to join forces if the company wants to hold its own against the competition.

So if they can’t do without each other, they should get along and cooperate in order to improve the recruitment process!

Both parties are responsible and each has to do its part. Recruiting has to take the initiative, as recruitment is only a peripheral issue for the departments. Recruiters and the whole HR managers should approach the hiring departments and incorporate them in the recruitment process from the very outset. The two should create processes together, pool their know-how. They should form a team. As a result, they will both benefit and recruitment will be more successful!

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