Let's separate HR and recruitment altogether!

This post was originally published at my Linkedin blog: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-separate-hr-recruitment-altogether-tom-laine  

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Let's separate HR and recruitment altogether!

I see plenty of reasons why we should consider separating these two functions. I mean, if we're going to have silos for different corporate functions anyway, let's separate these two.

Why? Main reason: recruitment is externally focused, whereas HR is internally focused. They don't really have that much in common, do they? These two functions may be different sides of the same coin, but why aren't sales and marketing then in the same "silo" in most organizations? I consider sales and marketing having a much more straightforward connection to each other than HR and recruitment.


Recruitment is externally focused, whereas HR is internally focused


Why the separation? HR focuses on e.g. organizational development, trainings, contract management, they take part in salary negotiations, take care of employee well-being, support employee career development, develop the working environment, HRM and management issues, and employee satisfaction and management support in general. HR also takes part in managing difficult situations such as lay-offs, it supports personnel in various ways from on-boarding to retirement, and more. Sure, there are other areas of responsibility, too, but just about all of them focus on serving the internal organization.

Recruitment, then again, is very much focused on external audiences. Recruitment function is doing employer branding, recruitment marketing, search and selection, tries to identify the right medium to advertise jobs or share career stories, identifies candidate pools and reaches out to them, "sells" the job opportunities to candidates (often even with the means of social selling), manages career section at company websites and social media channels, creates outwards focused content for various purposes at various channels, and generally manages the recruitment process.

To me it sounds like recruitment is closer to marketing than HR. I mean, recruitment function creates plenty of content and activities within the same channels and media that marketing does, towards external audiences. I also believe that all recruitment is marketing, and all marketing builds employer brand.


Recruitment is closer to marketing than HR


Just about the only common interest HR and marketing have, is talent management. HR helps plan organizational changes/development and identifies talent shortages, and forwards the information to recruitment to start searching for potential candidates. Talent management. That's it. In a number of organizations this function is even outsourced to recruitment agencies.

I hate silos. I believe that all functions within an organization should operate closely together for a common goal, openly sharing information and collaborating, and thus separating these two wouldn't really change anything in the perfect world. But I've never seen a perfect setup yet. We still build silos.

Of course this consideration is provocative, it's very much black and white. But think for yourself. Are we looking at organizational structures in an old fashioned way, should we consider tearing down the silos? If not, perhaps we should consider re-structuring them. Extreme times need extreme measures. And recruitment is at the very core of an organization's success and growth!

What do You think, should we separate these two? Why or why not?