Is Your HR Department at Odds With Your Expectations?

HR Department

I recently had a conversation with a healthcare organization looking to fill a critical role. We were talking about the needs of the organization and what the impact would be if the position isn’t filled. The conversation was going along just fine until I asked how long it would take to make an offer after a successful interview.

The hiring manager stated that their Human Resource Department’s policy is that once the hiring manager interviews candidates and identifies a talent pool of three or four finalists, the HR Director would generate an offer to the most qualified. I had to tell them that this is likely why they continue to have so many open roles; this cannot be the reality in today’s current labor market. I ended the conversation with, “I am sorry, but I am not the recruiter for you.”

It’s a race to the finish line

The above example is an all too common story, especially for organizations that have a plethora of job openings. Today’s job market is the tightest it has been in over 50 years and is shaping up to get worse (or better if you are looking for a new job). As 2019 progresses, I believe it will literally seem like a race to get qualified candidates to sign on the dotted offer line.

We continue to hear hiring managers mention their crazy workload and that they just can’t seem to fill their roles. They repeatedly say that they have exhausted all their options, and just can’t figure out why. In most cases, like the first example, the reasons are internal.

The conundrum of HR

One common theme for many hiring managers is that their hands are tied in pulling the trigger on a hire due to the authority that many HR Departments wield. They often have to wait endlessly for offer letters or compensation calculations to come back. And during the wait, their candidate takes a job elsewhere or just bows out in frustration.

Another challenge is the assumption from many hiring managers that the primary function of HR is to find them talent. So, they assume their roles are being actively recruited on internally, and just can’t figure out why they haven’t seen any resumes. And as you can guess, the common theme here is simply lack of communication and a process that isn’t working.

Better understanding your HR Department

So, what is the solution? While I don’t profess to have all the answers, there are some basic thought processes that could help. First, find out what the responsibilities are of your Human Resource team. Recognizing that they are continually working on onboarding, schedules for new staff, background checks, scheduling drug screens, calling references, tracking changes in compensation, writing job descriptions, keeping track of job boards, website postings… well, you get the idea. Do their other responsibilities allow for the time necessary to get your candidates hired?

How effective is the recruiting and onboarding functionality of the department? Especially, when this one role that you’re trying to get filled is in competition with every other job opening and a full schedule for your HR staff to boot? Given this thought process, ask yourself and teams the following questions to analyze whether your process needs to be revised:

  • Do you know how your HR department functions?
  • Are they doing the best job they can?
  • What incentives does your HR department or internal recruiter have to fill your open roles?
  • And a two-part question: what are their priorities, and are they achieving the results they are primarily tasked with?

However, you cannot answer these questions without also asking the following questions:

  • What are the desired and expected outcomes of your HR department?
  • And more importantly, if you were to compare notes with your HR team, do you both have the same playbook?

Get help meeting those expectations

If you would like a review of your process, feel free to reach out to one of the experienced recruiters at Johnson Search Group. After all, we live by the motto ‘your success is our success.’