Who’s Responsible for Hiring Success?

I am writing in response to your brief in the Oct. 2, 2017 edition of HRE entitled “A Metric Other Than Time.” The premise appears to be that the long-term success of a hire is the responsibility of the recruiter or HR professional. This is a grandiose assertion for three reasons:

  1. Hiring is the most important function of any executive because the impact on the business can be immediate and long-lasting–good or bad. Recruiters, whether external or within the HR department, are not responsible for business results. Line managers and the C-suite are.
  2. Businesses and markets change rapidly and in unforeseen ways. Placing the burden on recruiters to hire for long-term success is not realistic since the business units must change operating processes and strategies to address these changes.
  3. Most job descriptions are a list of generic issues, the latest buzzwords that are supported by neither the company’s structure nor culture. This laundry list of topics eliminates many candidates who are highly qualified for the actual role but are overlooked or dismissed for lack of an otherwise insignificant item.

It is obviously a good practice to improve hiring. Assigning responsibility for success to anyone but the hiring manager and employee is removing the focus from the two individuals most capable of ensuring, and most likely to desire, long-term success. The human resources department can be an integral part of the ongoing success but minimizing the consequences for these two individuals should not be the goal.

Doug Ringer
Doug Ringer Consulting LLC
Fort Collins, Colo.