These are the thoughts and takeaways from the latest Resourcing Think Tank (RTT) held on Tuesday 26th February 2013 hosted by Expedia’s Roopesh Panchasra (Recruitment Director)), titled ‘Bridging the Gap between the Recruitment Team and the Wider Business’.
The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Resourcing professionals from leading UK and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.
Encouraging and developing high levels of engagement between the internal recruitment team and the wider business is essential for positioning the business as an attractive employer, although it can be difficult to establish this engagement in the first instance. Rather than being a reactive function, a significant amount of recruitment should be part of a much wider plan for business growth.
This Resourcing Think Tank looked specifically at the key components responsible for bridging the gap between the internal recruitment team and the wider business and considered:
- What Recruiters can do in order to encourage better engagement with the business and with their HR partners?
- The core skills needed by Recruiters to promote engagement and the associated training to build on that expertise
- The importance of brand strength and encouraging Recruiters to be advocates of their brand at every opportunity.
To most companies, on-boarding is a vital component for any new hire. It is also important when looking at bridging the gap between the business and the internal recruitment team. Although resourcing shouldn’t solely be responsible for the on-boarding process, training within resourcing focuses on the long term viability of that candidate, which in turn stops them from being ‘bums on seats’ and adds value to the team through that individual. Concentrating on the long term effects of your hire also brings recruitment closer to the HR partners and stops recruiters being labelled as ‘gate keepers’.
This is also a critical component for Resourcing from a networking perspective. Recruiters must ensure that employees are satisfied by their on-boarding process, as without this satisfaction, employees will be less likely to offer referrals and give back to the business.
One of the most important set of skills a recruiter can possess is project management. Recruiters are encouraged to be more up-front with their hiring managers, setting realistic expectations and doing more than sourcing and interview scheduling! Agreeing processes up-front, i.e. deadlines, timelines, makes it easier to track the activity, increasing the amount of proactive conversations, and more importantly turns recruiters into trusted advisors who are delivering back to the business.
The question is, have our recruiters been working on projects without realising? Using data, reports and simple project management skills can effectively change the perception of any recruiter and encourages high levels of engagement between recruiters and the hiring managers. Nevertheless, setting expectations for the hiring manager is a key point, but it is also about listening to the needs of the business and delivering their objectives on time, whilst having a clear strategy in place.
Talk with confidence
Often recruitment can take a back seat in important decision making conversations and almost respond in a mechanical way. It is important to be heard, but also important to focus on the strategic output of the recruitment resource and to speak with confidence and innovation. Speaking to hiring managers when they are not hiring seems alien to most recruiters, but ultimately this lays the foundation of trust between the recruitment team and the wider business, helping hiring managers meet their objectives and turning recruitment into a proactive source. Attending weekly meetings and discussing topical issues with your hiring managers creates a different image of the recruitment team. It enables the recruiter to then go back to the business with a stronger and thought-out view of the needs and aspirations of the organisation.
External VS Internal
The difference between external and internal recruiters was a common theme throughout the discussion. Should internal recruiters start acting like external consultants and adopt that consultative approach?
There are some lessons to be learnt from external recruitment agencies, especially the art of networking, however we should begin by assessing the current internal team and the foundations they have to become strategic leaders of the business. Internal recruiters have a deep knowledge of the corporate culture and what success criteria are. The deeper and more methodical this knowledge is, the more it can be repeated, refined, and taught to others. It is critical that internal recruitment functions nurture and develop a core of highly knowledgeable and trained recruiters who would have this knowledge.
- Invest in the existing recruitment team by supporting and training them to the next level
- Encourage the recruitment team to show a wider interest in the business by attending events and conferences to broaden their knowledge of the market
- Push back to hiring managers by setting up realistic expectations and well thought out process
- Involve the recruitment team in the on boarding process and invest time in the long term viability of that candidate
- Turn recruiters into Trusted Advisors by increasing their responsibilities and allowing them to have more strategic input on their roles
- Concentrate on up-skilling your resourcing team by focusing on the skills they already possess and nurture their existing knowledge.