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Why Bad Hiring Decisions Call for An Evolution of the HR BP/Recruiter Relationship

Last year more than 8 in 10 HR decision-makers admitted their organisation had made bad recruitment decisions, and 39% of them realised it within two weeks of an individual starting work. The cost of such a mistake can range from £30,000 to £130,000, depending on the seniority of the individual involved.

Here we look at why and how the working relationship between the HR BP and Recruiter can be optimised to increase the chances of hiring and retaining the right talent.

Perry Grone

The Problem

Replacement hires are incredibly expensive and quickly eradicate any apparent 'cost savings’ made by sourcing directly and avoiding recruitment agencies or Executive Search firms. As jobs evolve and specialist skills are increasingly in demand, it becomes harder and harder to replace people.

While no-one sets out to hire the wrong person, sadly, research shows our decision-making is subject to multiple biases so the insurance policies and guarantees offered by recruitment agencies should not be dismissed offhand.

Furthermore, most recruitment targets are based on cost per hire and time to hire, and not whether the candidate was the right fit in the first place. Few brands spend as much time looking at retention patterns, performance and reasons for exit. And even fewer have an established feedback loop, feeding into a strategic workforce plan.

The Solution: Clear Hiring Responsibilities

While the majority of organisations seem to be moving to a more centralised HR model, I am not naïve enough to suggest that there is a one size fits all list of HR BP and in-house recruiter hiring responsibilities. My thinking was more that there needs to be agreement of the touchpoints, to more effectively support the talent pillars of the population as a whole.

The HR BP & In-House Recruiter

Here are some examples of potential overlap that might benefit both parties:

  • Defining/reviewing recruitment policy

  • Establishing correlated recruitment, performance and retention metrics

  • The candidate experience and employer value proposition (EVP)

  • Discussing key job requirements and traits valued by the business

  • The total comp offer

  • Onboarding updates/hand-holding for senior hires

  • Keeping an eye on top talent in the industry and feeding quality spec candidates to the HR BP

  • Monitoring the performance of new hires in the first critical months

The Hiring Manager

Often the HR BP and in-house recruiter are on the same page, but things start to go wrong when the hiring manager gets involved…

For example:

  • Stakeholders – All parties need to be clear who is responsible for granting the initial approval to hire, the day-to-day logistics of the hire, the selection and interview process, the selection decision, and offer approvals.

  • Role clarity – Hiring managers are often unsure who to talk to about specific aspects of the process so it’s vital that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. For example, if the manager deals directly with the recruiter but they don't check-in with the HR BP at relevant points, this can lead to unforeseen issues or delays, especially where verbal promises are made and candidate expectations mismanaged e.g. promises of a promotion or bonus amount after x amount of time. Similarly, while the HR BP has a wealth of knowledge about the business, wider team and hire context, it is important they allow the recruiter to liaise directly with the hiring manager and trust that the recruiter will revert with any queries/important info.

  • Bias in decision making - Hiring managers and decision makers can be very emotional and ‘instinctive’ when making hiring decisions so the HR BP and recruiter have a clear role in asking the right questions to challenge bias and ensure evidence-based decisions are made.

Peer Discussion/Recruitment Event

Recruitment needs and HR Departments come in all shapes and sizes.

If you’re an HR or Talent Acquisition Director interested in discussing this topic further with your peers, contact us to register interest in our next HR event on optimising the HR BP/in-house recruiter relationship. We'd love to hear from you.

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash.


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