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IT hiring managers work with HR to hire IT talent

The pitfalls of cutting HR out of direct placement recruiting

May 27, 2016

By Ellece Campbell

I’ve worked with some IT hiring managers who want to pretend Human Resources doesn’t exist. After all, you need to hire a great candidate immediately and think HR might throw up roadblocks. Or you believe a recruiter will do a better job attracting the top talent. And while that may be true, keeping your recruiter a secret from HR until the last second can backfire when you’re hiring direct placement candidates.

Ducking HR: What could possibly go wrong?

Talent moves quickly; in the blink of an eye, a great candidate will have three offers. You may think bypassing HR will speed up your recruiting, but there are lots of ways cutting them out entirely can slow you down—and cost you a great candidate. I’ve seen all these scenarios play out:

  • A manager conducts several interviews and only lets HR know she’s planning to hire after choosing a candidate. And then she finds out HR needs two weeks to prepare an offer.
  • Human Resources doesn’t understand the competitive landscape for IT candidates, and without visibility into competitive compensation trends, doesn’t make an appropriate offer.
  • After making a verbal offer, a hiring manager learns HR has to post a job for 10 days internally before pursuing outside candidates.

How to work with HR and external recruiters

There are lots of reasons you might want to use a specialized recruiter for a full-time IT candidate. Professional IT recruiters understand tech candidates, network with them and speak their language—which helps us find and recruit top talent. An HR rep doesn’t have time to attend IT user groups, speak to IT candidates dozens of times a day and immerse himself in the tech world.

Understand the hiring process. As a hiring manager, you absolutely have to understand what HR expects of you, and you have to let your recruiter know. Different HR organizations demand varying amounts of control or visibility in recruiting long-term hires, but you’ll always have to go through HR at some point. If your human resources department seeks a lot of control over recruiting activities, you might consider letting them meet your IT recruiter. A skilled IT recruiter will be able to articulate our compliance activities to HR to demonstrate we’re checking the right boxes.

Recruiters can—and should—get along with HR. I’ve built great relationships with human resources departments by helping them understand I’m an extension of their capabilities, not a threat. I’ve helped them understand how they can craft an offer to fit a great candidate’s needs (sometimes it’s salary, but it could be more vacation, flex time or other things that don’t hit your budget). I can provide detailed local market analytics about salary trends, certifications and other issues—and HR respects and appreciates numbers.

The bottom line is, with a little communication and understanding, your recruiter doesn’t have to come between you and HR.

Related reading

Onboarding IT workers in the bimodal era

Ellece Campbell has been with TEKsystems for nine years, and currently supports direct placement hiring in the Detroit market. She specializes in placing top-notch IT candidates in the healthcare and finance industries. You can connect with Ellece on LinkedIn.

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