Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Another New Year's Resolution for the HR Profession

Hot on the heels of yesterday's plea to check out the sources of information before sending it spinning into the HR community comes another resolution that we are going to adhere to in 2012:

Just because a statement contains some detailed statistics, we are not going to automatically accept it as the truth.

Let's look at recent example taken from HR Magazine and widely circulated online:
UK talent acquisition cost stands at £5,311 per hire. Cost per hire is a key metric of talent acquisition spending since this measure indicates hiring efficiency and productivity. While spending on talent acquisition also rose 6% in the US, companies there spend $3,479 per hire, or the equivalent of £2,226. 
Sounds so accurate and precise that it must be true. But learn from yesterday's example, and check out the source of the statistics, and you'll find they originate from an organisation who "will rapidly identify your organization’s key issues, benchmark your strengths and gaps, and engage in an ongoing dialog to drive impact." So let's say that they have a vested interest in getting you worried about your recruitment costs.

But, regardless of the origin of the statistics, they are clearly implausible and are also (it would seem) based on a fallacy.

The figures assume that all organisations use headhunters and agencies to fill some or all of their vacancies. They don't.

The figures assume that all organisations incur excessive costs through the advertising of their vacancies. They don't.

More significantly, such figures include the cost of "management time" derived from the salaries of those both inside and outside the recruitment team. This implies that, particularly in the case of the recruiting manager, there is a "proper job" that he should be doing, and that involvement in the recruitment process is a diversion from a task of greater importance.

But that is nonsense! The days of management passivity in the recruitment process are long gone, and many organisations now make active involvement in identifying new employees a crucial part of the manager's performance objectives. Not only HR, but line managers themselves now see total integration into the recruitment process as vital to adequately sourcing members of their team, and regard this involvement with as much seriousness as any other part of their job description.

Robin van Persie may be paid to score goals (17 this season so far, I believe!) but he's earning his keep just as much when he clears a ball off the line. Same with managers. So don't make it appear that recruitment is peripheral to what they do.


  1. It may well be that the recruitment of the right individuals into the team is built into a managers objectives but, in truth, I do think that many managers still see it as a necessary evil of the role. Never more so when the approval process to recruit is arduous, the candidates are poor or non existent and the associated paperwork and offer process, once you’ve found your knight in shining white, are prolonged.

    And the moral of this story is treat surveys and blogs as points of view and not the one version of the truth – which, as we know, is normally non existent!


  2. Thousands of human resource management projects report on the following topics in mba final year projects, mba summer projects, mba thesis, mba dissertation etc.

    Project on Recruitment process
    Talent Management
    Comparison of HR Policies and Practices at Various IT Companies
    Impact of Teamwork in an Organization
    Effective Team Building in the Workplace

    Human Resource Management Projects Report topics waiting here : ~