Should Recruiters Report to HR or the CEO?

Recruiting is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. After all, failure to properly focus on recruiting could result in the wrong talent being brought in, and this can then lead to lowered productivity, lost sales, and unhappy customers. What’s worse is that the wrong talent can place a business in the position of having to play catch-up, meaning the competition is already ahead as your company scrambles to rectify lost wages due to hiring the wrong person.

Who Should Recruiters Report To?

In days past, recruiters were outside professionals, meaning they were hired guns that companies utilized in order to find the best candidates. As the Internet changed the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of recruiting, many business owners chose to bring recruiting in-house. In most cases, recruiting and recruiters were the responsibility of the human resources department.

The problem with this model is that human resources professionals are the ones handling recruiting, not the CEO, or in many cases, department heads. Think about it … while a human resources employee may have a basic understanding of each job for which they are recruiting, would it be better for recruiters to report to HR or to an entity that has an in-depth understanding of each open position?

Understanding the Work and the Candidate

To successfully select the right candidates, administrative functions can’t get in the way. When recruiters report to human resources, the HR department will likely be working from a set of administrative directives that are detached from the actual professional and cultural fit of the candidate. For example, a candidate may be strong on paper, strong in presentation, and strong in previous work achievements, yet desires a salary that is outside of the norm.

When a recruiter presents this information to HR, the candidate is automatically disqualified due to administrative procedure. However, if the recruiter was able to present this same information to the CEO and department heads in need of such skills, things may change and the candidate may have a better shot due to the needs of the business.

Setting the Tone

Something else to consider when recruiters are reporting: the CEO sets the tone, and allowing him or her to have direct interaction with recruiters and recruiting choices shows that finding the right people is a priority. This also speaks well of the company to the candidate as it demonstrates a true sense of value of the candidate’s time.

No one wants to go through endless phone screens and interviews with HR, only to arrive for an interview with a CEO or department head to find out that there is no cultural fit whatsoever. This is yet another reason why recruiters need to be able to have human resources in the loop, but the focus needs to be on those professionals within the company who are going to understand the roles for which candidates are applying.

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