Who’s In Charge of Hiring (Answer: No One)

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Jun 20, 2019
This article is part of a series called Podcasts.

Sourcers are in charge of sourcing. Recruiters are in charge of recruiting. HR business partners are in charge of managing and scoping the business need. Compensation & Benefits is in charge of leveling the offer relative to other organizations. Talent acquisition leadership is in charge of managing the recruiters. Leadership is in charge of resources and strategic decisions. Hiring managers are in charge of selecting who gets the offer.

But who’s in charge of your hiring?

Who’s in charge of seeing that all the elements are aligned, working in concert with one another toward actual business outcomes instead of internal vanity metrics?

Who owns the feedback loop to ensure sourcers are finding the right candidates for recruiters to screen and recruiters are selecting appropriate candidates for hiring managers?

Who owns the process by which job postings are evaluated to ensure they accurately reflect the role, and are doing the proper work to attract the right candidates to it?

Recruiting isn’t hiring. Hiring is a far bigger system, one that should involve every single aspect of the company to ensure all new hires are culture adds, that they are positioning the company for growth instead of seat-filling. But who’s in charge of that? Not, “who should be in charge of that?” but who’s going to get fired when that doesn’t happen?

When you see hiring as something bigger than recruiting, as a system everyone plays a role in, there’s a surprising corollary: surgery. Who’s in charge of a successful surgery? With so many people, departments, tools and processes in play, a surgeon might be “in charge” but he or she can’t confirm that everyone in the operating theater washed their hands. He or she can’t confirm that every pharmaceutical is on hand in the proper amount. They aren’t going to watch the custodial crew sanitize the entire theater before surgery.

Medicine has what hiring and recruiting lacks: a string feedback loop. Every week, hospitals around the country (and world) stop what they are doing and perform a Morbidity and Mortality Conference, where everyone who played a role in the process gets together to find and close gaps. Seeing an increase in incidents leads to changes in processes across all departments to ensure it never happens again.

Does that happen at your company? When you spend hours and thousands of dollars of resources to give an offer to a candidate and they reject it, who’s responsible? Who’s in charge of figuring out what happened? Who takes ownership of ensuring it never happens again?

Hiring is a system, and systems don’t work like departments. They need system-based solutions.

So I’ll ask again: who’s in charge of your hiring?

For more on how to see hiring as a system, check out my podcast here.


This article is part of a series called Podcasts.
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