Lemmings. Junior HR twerps. Gatekeepers. Obstacles. Just plain “in-the-way-of-the-real-work-the-grown-ups-are-doing”.
Now before anyone starts setting the comment section on fire, please note that I am myself a corporate recruiter. I don’t think I fall into ANY of those categories, nor do any of my excellent co-workers. In fact, I work internally for one of the very few companies I would ever consider going in house for. Many of these issues don’t apply to me, but some of my internal friends suffer with them. This isn't (and shouldn't be) and Us VS. Them relationship. I actually met with a fantastic agency recruiter today that I hope to do business with in the future - he's sharp and I think he could deliver on the "purple squirrel" reqs. But back to internals... like any other group, we too have our share of bad apples.
So what is WRONG with these internal circus clowns and why won’t they just get out of the way? Better yet, why can’t they just operate like real recruiters?
Closest to the money doesn’t necessarily apply. As an internal recruiter, there is “no money”, at least not in the TPR sense. I can’t always focus on the quickest-to-fill/most-responsive-hiring manager/biggest-fee-requisition. Nope, it’s the highest-profile/affecting-the bottom-line/job-order-the-CEO-himself-handed-me req. At the end of the day my priorities might not make sense in the TPR world.
We can’t fire bad clients. I work with particular client groups regardless of how I feel about their requisitions. No matter how easy or hard they are to work with, they’re mine and I’m stuck with them, kind of like my children. And just like my children, there are some days I adore them and some days I – well – you know. At any rate, I’m committed to my clients and have to make the best of it, even if it means I can’t always focus on what that makes sense from a different point of view.
Speaking of bad clients… I hear quite often about the awesome relationship TPRs have with hiring managers. Corporate recruiting just gets in the way, right? Well, what you DON’T know is that the “hiring manager” you think so fondly of doesn’t have any say in the hiring process. Oh sure, I know their title sounds an awful lot like someone who should have some authority over the people they manage but sometimes it just ain’t so. I’m really thrilled for you that you’ve developed such a strong bond with the guy but if he was really in authority he could authorize paying fees too and I wouldn’t have to be the jerk ruining your deal. On the flip side, maybe he can authorize paying fees, but is setting me up to be the bad guy because he doesn’t want it to hit his budget… it’s happened… more often than you might think.
"Training” probably meant new hire orientation and a PowerPoint on how to use Taleo. I’ve said before that I feel staffing agencies are without question the best training grounds for internal recruiters. If you are dealing with that junior HR person who’s never been in the trenches, then you bet you’re going to have problems. There may not be anyone in the building that actually knows how to recruit, so who’s going to show the new guy? If you’re nice to them maybe they’ll be open to some mentoring - now you’ve got an advocate, not an enemy.
Some businesses just don’t want to work with you – right now. It’s not personal. We have a coordinator that handles all our staffing needs – temp, temp to hire which makes up 99.9% of our agency spend. I had a recruiter reach out to me because he felt our coordinator was basically “in the way” and “in over her head” because we weren’t giving this agency any business. Clearly our coordinator didn’t understand the value he could bring, and if only I could get them in the door they’d solve all our problems. While I appreciate the sentiment, when my coordinator told him we don’t have any temp openings she actually meant we don’t have any temp openings…. And right now that’s all we use agencies for. The unfortunately reality for this guy is when we DO need to bring in a partner we’re not going to call him. He would have been better off making nice with her for temp stuff, which could have opened doors down the road. Or at least approached me differently. Throwing my cube neighbor under the bus was probably not his best strategy. But the biggest problem of all…?
Some recruiters actually think they’re part of HR. I don’t mean there’s not an ultimate reporting relationship where we funnel up into HR. Of course we do. Just like in some organizations, HR ultimately reports to Finance (although I’m not sure why…). I’ve said before I love HR! HR gets me paid! HR approves my offer letters! HR handles benefits and company picnics and personnel issues and all the other things that make my head hurt. I’m really lucky that I get to just focus on recruiting. Whenever a so-called “recruiter” starts getting involved in all that extra stuff that has nothing to do with sourcing, interviewing, scheduling, and offering then we’re going to have problems. I vote those internals get a title change so they stop making me look bad.