Managers Are Responsible for the Recruiting Process

Last week I said there were 6 qualities that had to exist before an organization could say it had a world class staffing function. I covered point number one last week. Today I will cover point number 2. To refresh your memory, these are the six qualities that MUST exist for world class status: 1. Paper is non-existent 2. Mangers are responsible for the recruiting process 3. The organization uses the right type of employee in the right position 3. Development of talent is part of the recruiting mindset 4. The only constraints on filling positions almost immediately are caused by scheduling delays 5. Staffing is part of the image development and marketing efforts of the organization 6. The organization measures recruiting success Managers must own the recruiting process and with the advent of superior, web-based technology they can now assume almost complete responsibility for the process. The recruiter becomes the facilitator and coach, the expert guide, the person who can help the manager make decisions among many criteria and people. This is very different from the role most recruiters play today. In my experience managing recruiters and being a recruiter, I can verify that recruiters often want to own the process themselves. A few even look at the manager as a guide for themselves, the ‘experts’ in the process of recruiting. Some recruiters resent a manager expressing his or her negative opinion about a favorite candidate or vice versa. And some eventually get the power to virtually make the decision for the manager. In all cases this is bad, bad, bad! Why? I believe it is bad for 2 distinct reasons: ultimate accountability and cost. After a candidate is hired, the recruiter’s role pretty much ceases. Maybe there is casual contact, but once on board the formal role of the recruiter ends. Yet at this point the manager is fully responsible and is counting on the productivity, skills, and ability of the newly hired person to help achieve whatever business goals she has. To have not been intimately involved and responsible for the hiring of the person cannot be excused. Even though the process of finding, interviewing, selling, negotiating, and closing on a candidate are time consuming and difficult, this is the very process that will make a manager successful or not. A critical process such as this cannot be left to a recruiter who is not as well acquainted with the job, the skills needed, the politics of the organization, or the chemistry between the manager and the candidate. When managers try to abdicate this responsibility, it is the duty of the entire recruiting staff to push back and become the coach, the nag and even the trainer for the manager. It is also far more costly to use a recruiter in this way. It reduces recruiter productivity while diminishing the power and quality of the process when conducted by the manager herself. If mangers feel that recruiting is so insignificant, so unimportant and non-strategic that it should be left to a person who is essentially a non-player in the role the new hire will have in the organization, then I suggest the recruiter should examine whether or not to stay at that company. It seems to me that any company with many managers in this school is so far from world class that I would be worried about its chances to succeed. When managers say: “Go ahead and recommend a hire for me.” or “Find someone, run them by me for confirmation and then make the hire,” don’t be flattered or swayed. Push back. The sense of power and responsibility is deceiving and will ultimately hurt the organization. World class means managers own the recruiting process! See you next week.

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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