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Dr. HR / Mr. Recruiting II
(June 19, 2006) As mentioned on Friday, generalizing about the relationship between Recruiting and HR is great fun. It rarely, however, hits the "truth gong" (that's the resounding sound you hear when something is so true that you can not resist it.) The truth always contains a large chunk of paradox. Good theories, on the other hand, are logically consistent but rarely true.
(It would be useful if you at least scanned Friday's piece before moving ahead.)
Recruiting is the membership gateway for an organization. We all spend time thinking that it's a formal and rational process. Really, though, it's part rites of passage, part initiation ceremony, part courtship, part mating dance. The underbelly of Recruiting is less than elegant and subject to a range of myopias that include forms of illegal discrimination.
Recruiting is the front end of the membership process. It's rhythms and peculiarities are the way that a culture weeds through potential players and settles on the "right" ones. A big part of the reason that discrimination in hiring requires regulation is that it's a natural consequence of the Recruiting process. This is why many organizational subsets take matters into their own hands (so to speak).
Recruiting is the way that people join the tribe.
It is one of the riskiest things an organization does on a routine basis. The right members can guarantee viability and longevity. The wrong choices can produce instant death.
There are a range of "sub-tribes" in an organization. Depending on the size of the overall entity, they can be departments, divisions, business units, wholly owned subsidiaries and so on. Hiring, recruiting and retention practices always vary in these "sub-tribes". That's part of the way that they keep their identity solid. The rationale is always something like "there's deep and important technical understanding involved in our special ceremonies". Really, it's the most primitive form of quality control and risk management, having a trusted insider running the operation.
So, what is HR's role?
When Recruiting is well nestled in the HR department, it is a form of risk management. HR is really, really good and providing and maintaining order. It helps the organization maintain the proper defensive posture in a variety of regulatory environments. It promotes discipline and routine, the very essence of business success and mature organizations.
Recruiting lives in HR because HR is a sheriff and Recruiting wants to be a cowboy. HR is usually the best sheriff in the operation (only finance is ever better at it). This is the nature of the tension. Recruiting is all about growth and development, HR is for process oriented stability. The two complement each other.
The reason that the marketplace provides so many alternatives is that this is not always the best way to do things.
We keep updating the blogroll. There are now 144 Recruiting related blogs.
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