Jun 8, 2006

Why Lefkow is in the wrong zone.

Dave Lefkow in ERE makes a case if Recruiting should leave HR for good. I don't know where Dave is coming from, but I disagree with the argument totally.

Sure HR is a despised function. Along with Transport, Facilities and the office canteen. The reason is simple, when a support function has an impact on the personal needs of an individual, the function almost always loses. In trying to average out the needs of the individuals it ends pleasing nobody.

That's why very few people like the cafeteria food consistently. That's why everybody has an opinion on HR issues.

Most people when asked "Do you feel you are paid commensurate with your performance?" would say "No". Ironically, the ones who underestimate themselves are the people who are the high performers!

Dave postulates that since HR is universally hated, Recruiting has to secede from HR to be respected and taken as a strategic function.

I agree that the benefits of Recruitment is more immediate to see compared with other HR functions. Take a look at Anuradha's post explaining the behavioral aspects behind it.
In my book, any business that ranks certain HR functions over the others is one which aims at short term efforts and therefore is not a sustainable business.

Sure, recruitment can get you the great talent, but if can't ensure that performance management is fair and rewards are linked to performance then it won't take that long to lose the superstars you hired, and for you to lose the sheen on your employment brand.

Sure, HR Outsourcing is going to hit a lot of HR departments, and that is when Sanjay's advice will come in handy.

For all of HR, including recruitment !


  1. It was only a matter of time until someone said I was in the "wrong zone"... I had that coming :)

    Re: your argument about ensuring performance management is fair and rewards are linked to performance to keep the talent you recruit... I agree that this is a vital business function to make recruiting effective. However, there's nothing that says that two departments can't work together for the common good of the company. This happens all the time in every corner of a company, just as finance and accounting, marketing and sales, etc. all work closely together.

    I think it's time for some different thinking about what recruiting actually does though. I would advocate making recruiting more of a "talent" department, with influence and direction over the "employment product." This could in theory include performance management and internal mobility, or it might not - depending on the organization.

  2. I stand with Gautam's point of view. The recruiting function has to know where it is going and the direction has to come from the parent, HR that has an overall perspective of what's happening and feels the pulse of the entire organization (all functions). It would also help adapt to the constant changes in the external business environment. The possibility of the recruiting function going full steam without knowing the pulse of the organization, the competencies required, the key motivators etc. would be like a blind man running on the 400m track full steam. That would not be as easy as running straight full steam on a 100m track.

    Again, I believe the key question should not be whether people hate HR. As Gautam argues, everyone is entitled to have an opinion about HR on whatever happens in the organization.. The key question should be whether HR helps drive business value and growth (both short term and long term).

    Best regards,

  3. Hi Folks,

    Hr department is considered as a cost centre that lacks innovation and R&D.

    I partly agree with Dave as well as Gautam.

    Recruitment function was decorated because industries became more skill intense; demand for talent and knowledge based workers are increasing due to growing competition.
    The recruitment function was shifted from HR to other departments. As per (IPD-1999) in UK organisation, line manager have important role in recruitment as compare to HR. But still considers under the HR umbrella.
    Presently, in the world of offshore outsourcing the HRO (Hewitt associate) emerges after IT and BPO. There is continuous demand for talent that resulted into RPO. The RPO arises due to some of its outsourcing features (non-core activities) like attracting, screening….. (Straight score) and emerges as a separate entity. The RPO is in initial phase and continuously to grow. But the other performance functions will also grow.
    The performance management is inherent in the organisation and required in all functions including RPO.
    All these separate entities are embedded together towards organisational goal.