Recruiting Is The Hardest Part of HR

Recruiting is the hardest part of HR.

No matter how many technology solutions you have, a recruiter still has to read resumes. She has to apply her critical thinking skills to determine whether or not an applicant has what it takes to become a candidate and talk to the hiring manager. And she has to figure out if people are lying to her.

Right there — that’s why most HR people hate recruiting. It’s a lot of work just to get someone to walk into your office.

Then the real work begins with conversations around knowledge, skills and abilities. Recruiters have to deal with abstract and amorphous concepts like culture and likability.

  • Is your hiring manager looking for “fit” or is he just a racist and sexist douchebag who only hires people just like him?

Tough to tell. It’s usually a blend of bias and earnestness, which makes the recruiting process so damn perilous.

Once you select someone, then you have to negotiate a salary. And then it’s the background check and onboarding. There’s a ton of other work involved in getting someone in the door.

And when you hire someone, they always come back to you with problems. That’s how I moved from the world of corporate recruiter to HR Generalist. While some recruiters hate being a part of HR, I didn’t mind. Unless you tie in the hiring process into HR, you have a bifurcated personnel management process.

And make no mistake: the core duty of HR — and even recruiting — is personnel management. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Requisitions must be filled. People need to get paid. The trains need to run on time.

So all I’m saying is that it takes a very special person to be a corporate recruiter. Someone with who embraces process-driven conversations without turning off her bullshit detector. A good recruiter enjoys learning about people and listening to crazy stories. And I truly believe that recruiters who do it right have the hardest jobs in HR — but it’s also the most fun.

You get to offer people a fresh start! A new life! And money!

I think some of you non-HR people who read my blog would be good recruiters. You work hard. You are smart. If you’re interested in informational interviews to learn more about how successful recruiters do what they do, let me know.

I’ll hook you up.

About the author


View all posts