I don’t work with HR – and I have the Little Mrs. wait in the car while I go into the bank and talk about the important stuff.

How old are you?  Where have you been the past decade?  Watching All in the Family reruns every night?  They call me old school – but I’m starting to wonder if I no longer deserve that label.  Perhaps you’re the one more deserving…….

Don’t work with HR?  What clients do you work with?  The mechanic down the street?  Your cousin’s Insurance agency?  Most companies large enough to use agencies are also sophisticated enough to involve HR in some capacity.  Now I’ll agree – some of those processes are just a mess and I won’t be successful.  But how do you know which is which until you check it out?

Yes there was a time when hearing “You’ll need to talk to HR” meant “See ya later!” but those times have changed.  HR is most likely the department that can shut you down or welcome you to the mission.  I prefer to think of them as the next (or even the first) step in securing a new client.

So when I see recruiters touting the old wives’ tale we were taught decades ago I just have to chuckle a bit.  Throw in the “Well – if we can’t recruit for ya the way we know best – we’ll just have to recruit from ya!” line and you’ve got a real winning business plan! (Not!)

Well that’s all I have on the subject for now……Gotta call an HR guy to see if we can wrap one up this week!


3 thoughts on “I Don’t Work with HR….

  1. Hi Jerry – this is two great articles on the bounce from you. Both are on the money and very timely.

    there are still lots of recruiters who I meet who tell me that HR is a waste of time. Even those who have less than 3 month experience have it instilled into them “Don’t talk to HR”

    HR do have a lot of power (rightly or wrongly) in controlling the supplier status of recruiters in a lot of businesses. There are some flawed HR driven PSLs out there that have lost sight of the mission. A good PSL should be designed to help identify good people and get them on board in a timely fashion. Al too often it slows things down (too much so good candidates are lost) and focusses too much on price instead of value.

    We still end up at a point where a broken PSL can only be fixed by working with the architect – be HR, procurement or the C-suite. Only talk to the hiring/line manager is an out of date sales model.

  2. Whether they want the responsibility or not, in these times the corporate recruiter is being asked to control costs while improving service. A good corporate recruiter will be smart enough to know that a total recruiting campaign includes multiple sources which includes agency recruiters. Hopefully they are also smart enough to see/sell the ROI rather than parrot the age old mantra that agencies mean unnecessary costs. Unless they have the experience, contacts, freedom and TIME to do it on their own they need to wake up…after they are finished with planning the company picnic and soliciting for the United Way fund raiser.

  3. Hi Jerry,
    Right on the money!! I was just at the NNEAPS Owners/managers yearly retreat last week and during our round table discussion, the question came up “how do we get around HR”. Since I was the “new kid” on the block having just come from Corporate HR, I had a big bullseye on my back. As I stated to my new colleagues, “go around HR and you piss them off and I will be right behind you to get that job order”. HR regardless of how they may feel is part of the process. Sure we still get the push back ” we don’t need you, we can do it better”. It is my job to provide them with “insight” so that I can position myself and my team more as a partner and not just a one hit wonder!. Thank you for generating the discussion!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s