Aug 29, 2005

Headhunters accountable for quality of hires ?

Well the folks at ERA are obviously not ready for this but Financial Express reports:

A paradigm shift is taking place in HR practices with recruitment agencies increasingly being made accountable for the mishiring in the corporate world. HR consultants are now held accountable by contract to substitute a candidate who quits within a specified period from the date of joining.

According to an international research, 50% of hiring is actually mishiring and it costs 28 times the annual remuneration package of the employee. Mishiring in India accounts for 40% of the hiring at junior level and up to 28% at senior executive level, according to Executive Access MD Ronesh Puri. “Both the HR consultant and the company should therefore be equally held accountable. Unfortunately, most companies are innocently ignorant about the huge revenue loss. The softer side like cultural misfits, mindset matching and difference in
management style are equally important. But companies fail to realize its magnitude,” he asserts.

Of course, this can give rise to a huge debate, and degenerate into a blame game. As research has shown time and again, people join organizations but leave managers. But are managers ever held responsible for employee turnover?


Firing the headhunter is akin to shooting the messenger !

Sure, the headhunter can be held responsible for wilfully giving wrong information to either the organization or job seeker to "close" his sale. That would go into the domain of unethical practices and justify the rap.

How many headhunters know the organization or candidates well enough to take the blame for "misfit hiring" (Type II error in other words)?

Evaluting cultural fit of the candidate should be the organization's responsibility (that responsibility rests with internal Recruiters/HR group's) and not the headhunter's.

And if such a responsibility is being thrust on headhunters, they should be asking for "retainer search assignments". That would cut down on employers asking for such value from headhunters who depend on filling vacancies before their other brethren!

Update: In fact, I know of a staffing function who were tracked for a metric which was "no attrition in the first six months" in an employee's tenure in an organization. This was in Asia Pacific and in a high tech industry based out of Singapore. Are other internal recruiters upto the challenge?