Rant time: Some HR home truths!


[If you are an HR person or Recruiter of a paranoid disposition, then don’t read further!]

I have just read an ‘interesting’ post from the the man of mystery – the anonymous @TheHRD, on the excellent blog My Hell is Other People. On his blog today the subject is candidate testing, personality profiling, assessments etc. The flavour of the post is very simply, forget all that mumbo jumbo and just trust your instincts when it comes to recruiting new employees.
He concludes the post with….. “….the answer is to stop thinking and start to rely on your intuition, “Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.”  That, my friends is the path to being a true HR Jedi.”

While I have already commented on the actual blog, I just wanted to further my answer here!

Now, I am not an advocate of all the different types of tests in the marketplace as I think they are over used and relied on too much as a decision maker. There are two exceptions a) assessment style tests for bulk recruitment, and b) and for senior level roles where they can help as a useful selection tool (and only a tool, not a decision making device) to aid the recruitment process.
What I have a problem with, is this whole “use your instincts – become a Jedi HR warrior” jibe  as it is (in my opinion) mis-guided coming from an experienced HR Director – I am assuming that this mysterious person is experienced?

Any senior level HR person will, over their careers, have worked with/employed/fired (take your pick) many HR staff over that time that have recruitment responsibilities. Exactly how many of them either knew (or even cared) anything about recruitment, understood what it is all about and could actually do it properly, is unfortunately a minority figure.
Are you still using just the one hand to count the number you know?

I can honestly say that in 20+ years in the recruitment sector, I can’t get to double figures! I am sorry if that upsets some of the HR people that read this blog, but that has been my experience. Many just hate the whole concept of recruitment and what it stands for. They either palm it off to more junior colleagues, do a half-hearted job themselves or just abdicate responsibility completely by outsourcing it completely to an RPO organisation.
So is it any wonder that these people turn to all the variety of tests available to help them make a decision? They do it because they are not skilled enough to be able to recruit the right employees effectively, themselves!

Now, before @TheHRD counters with the state of the recruitment industry, I would like to say that my industry is equally not that great – there are way too many over-rated, under-delivering and quite frankly crap ‘consultants’ out there in the industry, that leave everyone (both the HR and Recruitment industry) embarrassed by what is delivered as ‘a recruitment service’.

The recession has helped here by flushing a good number of the crap out of the industry and into other sectors – and I hope they never return!!

No, the recruitment industry is not perfect, but neither is the HR industry either!

So Mr HRD, stop bleating on about your industry being HR Jedi’s when it comes to recruitment, when in reality most wouldn’t even make it out of the Starfleet Training Academy! If you want them to graduate, then give them the skills – not inneffective tools –  to do the job right in the first place!

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We consult, train, tweet, blog, text, post, speak, share, read, update, photograph, video and talk about recruitment. At Sirona Consulting we work with companies, recruitment agencies, RPO’s HR & recruitment technology vendors and conference / event organisers, helping them understand and integrate social media into their recruitment strategies. We have have been doing this now for twelve years, working with many companies along the way, from small independent recruiters right through to large international companies. We are honest, ethical and have experience of working across a range of different industry sectors delivering success in the UK, Europe, Middle East, APAC and the United States.

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