Mon, Sep 10, 2012
Prior to the MonsterBuzz debate taking place on the 13th September, I wanted to speak to some of the panel and this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Donna W Miller HRD Europe for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The debate is centred on the thorny subject of “HR vs Recruiters – Never the twain shall meet” and Donna is uniquely positioned to comment on the topic having worked in both recruitment and HR whilst at Enterprise. It’s also worth noting that Donna was born and educated in the US but Donna has worked in the UK for 13 years – an interesting perspective.
Donna and I spent a couple of hours discussing the debate’s subject and she has some very honest and thoughtful insights…
Q – Why the “animosity” between HR and Recruiters?
A – Well at Enterprise we don’t have these issues BUT I am well aware that this is not the case in many organisations. For me the issues seem to be;
Q – Is the growth of the “professional” In-House Recruiter changing perceptions?
A – Definitely and this might even be the cause of some of the “animosity”.
Q – Is HR strategic?
A – It should be, but to be strategic you need the organisation to understand the importance of HR and invest in it. Too often HR is understaffed and can only be “reactive”.
Also, HR itself needs to become more businesslike and too many HR people don’t truly understand the business in which they operate. How then can they add value and become “strategic”?
One thing that I believe can help HR be strategic is the use of HR and Business metrics and the investment in HR Technology. To do this properly, you need to start with a strategic vision and plan. So HR must take ownership of this key HR task.
Q – Is the DNA of a recruiter so different from that of an HR professional?
A – In my view yes, absolutely! Recruitment is a sales and marketing driven function and great recruiters are great salespeople. HR is a very admin and structure driven function.
I’ve found that most good recruiters are disorganised (like many salespeople) and most HR people are organised.
Q – Who should HR report to?
A – In Enterprise, HR reports to the MD and I believe that HR should report to either the MD or CEO and be represented on the board. BUT definitely not to the CFO or the finance function.
Q – Should Recruitment be part of the HR function?
A – Although many don’t agree with this – yes, my view is that if you separate recruitment out, you are creating another silo and in many organisations, there are already too many of them. HR, Recruitment, Marketing and PR all have a “stake in the game”. There needs to be alignment and separating recruitment from HR makes no sense.
A large part of recruiting is handled by the HR function, assessment, screening, on-boarding are all critical to running a successfully recruiting function.
The one area I can see some logic in changing is Branding and Attraction, which can sit inside the marketing function and increasingly does.
Q – Biggest issue that HR finds with recruiters and visa-versa?
A – HR finds it frustrating that recruiters are often NOT in the office. I want my recruiters in the field recruiting – not behind a desk.
Recruiters often feel that HR doesn’t “care about their candidates”.
The reality is driven by the same issue; we don’t understand each other’s roles and unfortunately, don’t appreciate what each brings to building a great recruiting function.
Q – Should recruiters get commission?
A – Yes and at Enterprise, our recruiters get a bonus from the business unit and they get commission on placements. In my view, rewarding recruiters in this way is common sense.
Q – Final question; is recruitment strategic?
For me and our management team at Enterprise Rent-A-Car the answer is yes, finding great talent, hiring smart graduates and building a Pan European Graduate Talent Pipeline is/was a long term strategic decision and therefore for me, if you are planning a long term recruiting strategy to support the organisation’s future business needs… then recruitment is strategic.
BUT… in most organisations recruitment is NOT strategic and fulfils a critical but reactive business role.
If you’d like to attend our Monster Buzz event you can still RSVP through our Eventbrite page.