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Nonprofit HR’s Blog

Yesterday CFO.com posted the headline “Don’t Let HR Tell You Who to Hire.

Wow, I thought as my competitive juices got going. CFO.com thinks they can do it all by themselves. I basically had a “You talkin’ to me?” moment.

Fortunately for CFO.com, once I read the article I realized their headline was sensational and more smoke and mirrors than “toss HR from the train.”

Here is the meat of their article.

“Many companies track how hiring and development decisions work out (especially within critical talent segments), using measures like performance-review scores and turnover rates. Few, though, expend much effort differentiating between the quality of talent decisions made by HR and non-HR leaders.

That is probably a mistake, judging by a study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a member-based research organization.

The participants, 390 senior corporate executives with various titles, were asked how effective their organizations were in their use of 11 different strategic HR practices, and also the extent to which they performed eight HR-related measurements.

One result was a significant outlier. Only 15% said they specifically measured, to a high or very high extent (two of the response options on a five-step scale), the effectiveness of talent decisions made outside of HR. Among all 19 practices and measurements, that was the lowest rate at which one of the top two rankings was selected.

Why is that significant? Because the research also sought to determine whether, and to what degree, the effectiveness of the 11 strategic practices and the usage level of the eight measurements correlated to company performance.

And the strongest correlation was found with regard to – you guessed it – measuring the quality of talent decisions made by non-HR leaders.”

The above made me yell, “no kidding!”

Hiring in any organization is the equivalent of student performance. Parents cannot drop their students off at school everyday and expect them to succeed. Studies show that students who succeed have parents that are highly active in their educations – at home and at school.

The same applies in the workplace. On organization cannot succeed if it depends solely on HR to manage its talent. The whole organization has to sell-out and invest in its recruitment and retention. This means a great branding effort surrounding the careers portion of an organization’s website. It is also a great internal benefits package and wellness program that creates a to-die-for culture. It means investing in a competent recruiting program that consists of more than Craig’s List and Monster.com job postings.

And it definitely includes a partnership between HR and the department with the open position. After all, only the IT department knows what type of skills-level and personality it needs to be successful. Completely outsourcing hiring decisions to HR is not smart or effective. It is also not what any competent HR professional wants or preaches.

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