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Who will reign victorious in the epic battle between HR and Recruitment?

In the one corner, our contestant is a mid-tiered, middle-aged human resources specialist from Jozi. He has 20+ years of solid HR experience and is not afraid to use it. He knows the book and can throw a right hook… of processes, procedures and measurements.

In the other corner, our contestant is a high flying, ex-corporate talent hunting ninja from Sandton. She has years of experience in finding the right people for the right customer, dropping them into the war zone and watching the impact they make. She knows how to find them, package them and deploy them.

It’s a light-hearted intro for the ever-present dilemma between official HR and unofficial HR. One has to get their job done within the confines of the rules and regulations of the business and the other has to get their job done within the challenges of the free job market where the hunt for excellent talent is ever prevalent.

We would assume the goal of these two parties are the same – or are they?

Something generic like: “Hiring the best person for the job that can help the business reach its goal.”

But look a little deeper and you start to understand why these two groups of HR professionals are not always pulling in the same direction.

  • HR is measured by criteria like years of experience, educational profile, work ethic, team orientation, the ability to grow, cultural fit etc.
  • Talent recruitment is measured by other criteria: speed, budget, minimum requirements of HR, finding the best-suited candidate for the employer, being a happy candidate as the employee, ultimately having a happy customer as the HR company.

Now let’s bring in the circumstances within which HR and Recruitment operate.

HR works within a steady pace environment, dealing with reports and ensuring policies and procedures are followed. Their improvement projects are usually slow and steady processes that require managers to follow through on various pieces of training they have received over the years. All this, in addition to their normal day-to-day responsibilities.

Talent recruitment is a very different environment altogether. They are typically called in when someone has been fired, usually for something disruptive, or when someone has left, usually with the statutory one month’s notice. Both of these create a pressure situation that requires the right person, right now. Or at the very latest next week.

So we can start to see that these two groups of professionals might be on the same team in theory, but their procedures, measurements and environments are totally different.

This leaves us with 2 very important questions:

  1. How do they communicate company culture to one another?
  2. How, if at all, is this translated to candidates?

Find out more in the next article where I’ll discuss these important questions in more detail.

Ann x


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