HR - an underdeveloped area in recruitment?
We all know that recruitment is the ultimate people business, but for many organisations within the sector, there is a huge opportunity to both improve and develop the human resources function - whatever the size and structure of the company. There are still many recruitment companies that do not have any form of standalone HR - often it ends up falling within the remit of one of the directors - or on the to do list of an administrator or office manager.
For larger organisations that do have an HR function, there's currently no recruitment industry specific training for HR professionals who want to develop. If recruitment organisations want to grow, then they also have to attract and retain talent - consequently there is a need for in depth expertise and support around a whole range of HR issues.
HR crucial for growth
There are literally hundreds of recruitment firms out there run by entrepreneurial leaders who have ambitious growth plans. If they are to fulfil those ambitions, then they are going to need more forward thinking HR systems and policies than they may have in place currently. But that calls for a specific set of expertise - expertise of not only the right HR approach but also an in depth knowledge of the recruitment sector. So what’s needed?
3 key areas for HR specialists
Legal advice is always a hot topic and while there are plenty of legal helplines out there run by lawyers, what our research has told us is that recruiters want advice on employment law delivered within the context of their own organisation - from people who not only understand the law and its implications but also the commercial realities of the recruitment sector. What’s needed therefore, is a hotline to deliver that mix of commercial savvy and legal expertise along with general advice on issues such as employee relations; reward and recognition and relocation & immigration.
Retention is a key issue for the recruitment industry but are you carrying out satisfaction or employee engagement surveys? Do you really know how engaged your staff are - and do you know how to go about finding out? Food for thought perhaps. But in this market, to avoid your organisation becoming a revolving door of talent, you need to act quickly.
Managing performance is absolutely crucial within a recruitment environment - but have you got a robust system? Do you know how to manage your people from your best to your worst? Have you got a succession plan in place?
This may all seem a little overwhelming, particularly if your HR department consists of the office manager or even just the MD, but a series of workshops and coaching for those people in order to upskill them both technically - and crucially - behaviourally can make all the difference.
Consider interim HR support
There is also the option to use an interim resource for specific projects – you may need a bonus scheme review – or an employee handbook – or an performance management system designed. You may need help designing and running an assessment centre to help you identify the very best talent for your organisation. These are all really important elements of an overall HR strategy but often there just isn’t the resource available to deliver the key elements.
Be the employer of choice
For those of you who just don’t have a standalone function, someone still needs to deal with HR. Whoever they are and whatever their ‘day job’ is, get those people upskilled and utilise the resources available to you on a consultancy or interim basis. Otherwise you may find that your employer brand only serves to identify you for what you don’t do - rather than the employer of choice you aspire to be.