Defining the Relationship Between HR and Recruiters

Internal HR and external recruitment providers can, if both committed to doing so, develop a strong connection that will enable an organization to recruit and retain remarkable talent. Here is what you need to know about the relationship between recruiters and HR and how you can be sure that you are receiving the best value from that partnership.

Understanding the link between HR and recruiters

The relationship between human resources and outside recruiters isn’t always easy to navigate, this is particularly true when the relationship is in the initial phase, or in the case of HR representatives who’ve not yet worked with recruitment providers or have skewed views based on previous negative experiences.

If HR professionals and recruitment providers work cohesively, a company seeking top talent will achieve tremendous results.

Proficient collaboration between recruiters and HR will, undeniably, transform your entire strategic recruitment process.

What’s the difference between recruiters and HR?

While it is true that there is a slight overlap in the connection between HR and recruiters, there are some key dissimilarities in their principal focus.

From a recruiter’s perspective, their obligations end once a candidate they’ve referred receives an offer of employment from a client organization. HR, on the other hand, is responsible for managing the relationship between the new employee and the organization on an ongoing basis. This could include things like employee onboarding, the development of workplace engagement activities or overseeing scheduling and benefits packages.

Furthermore, HR representatives have a tendency to take a passive approach to hiring. That is, they post a job online or in the paper and they wait for interested candidates to come to them.

A recruiter, or at least one with any merit, deploys a proactive approach. They are either looking for a qualified candidate for client organization or they are looking for a suitable organization for a candidate. Once successful, the recruiter will then serve as a broker between the two – Connecting top talent with leading employers.

The biggest hurdles in the relationship between recruiters and HR

The most notable roadblock encountered between HR and recruiters trying to navigate a new (or existing) relationship always stems from communication. Miscommunication is detrimental to any relationship and can lead to the loss of candidates with high potential.

Recruiters and HR have to work together to keep the channels of communication open, not only to manage expectations but also to clearly define who should be responsible for each component of the process. Ideally, the hiring process should be viewed like a project, with set timelines and demonstrable KPIs.

How can recruiters and HR work together?

All too often, organizations make the mistake of believing that since they have an internal HR representative, they don’t need a recruiter. This antiquated method of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.

If an organization has experienced any amount of difficulty attracting qualified talent, needs a high volume of hourly workers fast or has a highly-specialized or executive position they need filled, then enlisting the services of a recruitment agency can provide access to an abundance of resources that might not have previously been available.

The hiring process can be tedious and often takes HR representatives away from their core responsibilities, this is why a large percentage of businesses choose to partner with outside recruiters to source for qualified candidates and keep turnover to a minimum. The cost burden is alleviated by streamlining the recruitment process and keeping HR professionals focused on their day-to-day functions.

How can HR successfully partner with recruiters?

In order to effectively work with a recruitment professional, HR needs to be capable of trusting the process and allowing recruiters the freedom to do their job. Goals and expectations need to be clearly defined, following a ‘what’s best for the business’ mindset. Partnering with an experienced recruiting agency will lay the foundation for a strong business relationship that meets overall objectives and yields favourable results.

HR representatives need to be willing to leave the responsibility of searching for a candidate to the recruiter, this is their area of expertise. Uncovering qualified candidates who would not only do well in the role but would also integrate seamlessly into the organization before another company offers them employment can be challenging.

Since recruiters take an active approach to hiring, instead of the passive approach utilized by most companies, sourcing qualified candidates is much easier. Recruiters should be viewed as a valuable asset for the hiring process.

Learning to work together

There are a few things that HR professionals and recruiters can do to strengthen their relationship and use their overlap in responsibilities to a mutual advantage.

  • Engage in a brainstorming session to develop a hiring policy that outlines how each will work with the other moving forward. This should include things like job requirements, key candidate qualifications and also traits that fit well with the company culture.
  • Spend time discussing the onboarding process and be receptive to suggestions for improvement.
  • Stay in constant contact and update each other regularly on how things are progressing – if something isn’t working, say so early on so that adjustments can be made.

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