Why Corporate Recruiting Departments Struggle . . . Sometimes


  • Author Sean Davidson
  • Published December 30, 2011
  • Word count 794

And while there are certainly many strong recruiting functions or recruiters on the corporate side, corporate recruiting does struggle with an image issue that is at least somewhat deserved.

"Corporate recruiters are asked to wear many hats," said Omer Mutaqi, Chief Operating Leader of MY HR Supplier, a leading consultation firm in maximizing human capital investments. "Thus, the actual hat they're supposed to be wearing - finding the best talent - is all too often muddied in the process."

In the interest of exhibiting to agency recruiters why their corporate recruiting counterparts sometimes struggle to fill openings, Mutaqi offers a more detailed look at the corporate recruiter's role, while also suggesting what corporate recruiting leaders should be fixing:

Requisition Load

Most corporate recruiters cover between 20-40 openings, with some supporting up to 100 positions. As a result, recruiters don't have the opportunity to spend the quality time recruiting that they would like.

"A recruiter can't effectively and proactively support 40 openings," noted Mutaqi.

Incentive Structure

Incentive pay on the corporate side does not reflect the impact that a top-notch recruiter can have on an organization.

As a result it becomes nearly impossible to attract top agency recruiters to the corporate side.

With financial incentives (read: bonuses) not closely tied to results (read: hiring top-notch candidates more efficiently), companies will always struggle with recruiter motivation.

In other words, good recruiters are worth every penny they earn.

Corporate recruiters are typically eligible for annual or quarterly bonuses, so the timing of the reward is not closely aligned to result. Several corporate recruiting departments have implemented scorecards to create differentiated compensation for their top performers - however, they need to move more closely to a pay-per-hire model in order to get the results they want.

But . . . much of this tracking is activity-focused and not results-focused.

If corporate recruiting departments could implement a similar compensation structure as agencies (lower base salary, higher bonus structure), they would definitely reap the benefit.

The end result? Organizations would hire more top talent at a lower cost per hire.

Recruiter Skill Set

It's gotten to the point where corporate recruiting leaders aren't seen as just another HR function.

Typically, good recruiters are not the best "HR people" because they like the hunt and financial rewards that go with finding the best people. This is not generally the mentality of a good HR generalist who is more often than not very process-focused.

Once dedicated recruiters are compensated appropriately, developing/growing recruiters becomes a much easier task. They will witness that top paid recruiters are also the ones who are best at cold calling, networking, closing the candidate, salary negotiation, etc. - and will seek development opportunities out for themselves.

Most training dollars are wasted on recruiters who simply don't have the time or motivation to change their recruiting approach.

Poor Recruiting Process

Post and pray.

This is a familiar mantra around too many corporate recruiting departments - which build themselves around this.

So it should come as no surprise that many corporate recruiters post their positions and simply phone screen those who apply. Given the requisition loads, it's understandable why many corporate recruiters take this approach.

But clearly this approach does not garner top talent - and it also provides the greatest opportunity for third party recruiters to add value (the area that recruiting leaders must address immediately).


Corporate recruiting is about more than just recruiting.

These individuals may be pulled into overflow HR "stuff" (employee relations, open enrollment, compensation studies, etc.) that takes time away from their core responsibility. And then some.

As long as corporate recruiters are tied to the HR function, they will be pulled in as HR pinch hitters. Additionally, corporate recruiting departments have a lot of reporting that they must commit time to, including corporate/departmental reports, OFCCP, EEO audits, and in many cases internal audit. These reports are time killers.

So what works best? When recruiting functions are supported by a dedicated administrative assistant to handle the details (offer letter creation, interview scheduling, paperwork, input in HRIS, etc), thus allowing recruiters to focus their time on actually recruiting.

These points above are not to say corporate recruiters don't work hard. Most truly do. But they don't have the recruiting skill set, motivation, and focus to truly be successful to the degree their organizations need them to be.

But remember, many of these challenges are created by the recruiting function (or at least recruiting leadership) itself. For example, create appropriate compensation structures to attract and retain the best recruiters in the market is always a top challenge.

And in fact, perhaps it's best not to roll recruiting into HR at all?

Food for thought.

For more information, visit www.myhrsupplier.com, or call (866) 606-MYHR (6947), or e-mail info@myhrsupplier.com.

MY HR Supplier, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., provides expert consultation from an unbiased perspective on how to maximize every investment in Human Capital. To this end, MY HR Supplier facilitates the decision making process by promoting the best talent with fringe benefits to create a positive atmosphere. For more information, visit www.myhrsupplier.com, or call (866) 606-MYHR (6947), or e-mail info@myhrsupplier.com.

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