In my role as a corporate Recruiter over the years, I have partnered with Line Management in filling their positions. I executed the clearly delineated roles played by HR and Line Managers when I joined corporate headquarters at Lockheed Martin in Maryland in 1996 as a Talent Acquisition/Staffing Manager and subsequently at other Fortune 500 (Monsanto) and innovative start-ups (Unext.com, etc.). In a vast majority of cases we (HR) found and delivered the candidates for Line Managers to interview and ultimately hire, or worked very closely with the Line Managers on their referred candidates.
During my initial meetings with an internal Line client with an open requisition, we talked about: the job description, shared responsibilities (HR vs. Line), the position, skills required to execute the essential functions of the position, the profile of the ideal candidate, diversity issues, innovative sourcing strategies, (etc.–both internal and external) and possible behavioral interview questions.
This meeting agenda leads to a discussion of: What does the Line want from HR in the hiring process? Or, what can a job candidate expect from an HR interview vs. a Line interview.
Typically, Line Managers want their Recruiters to creatively source and deliver exceptional candidates (within budgetary requirements) and “suss out” the candidates. HR should figure out: candidate motivations (i.e., why is the candidate interested in this position, why do they want to make a move, why our company, what are they looking for, etc); determine “Fit” factor, as in cultural “Fit”; candidate salary expectations; candidate environmental requirements (i.e., what type of company environment do they work best in); leadership potential; capacity to engage in team work; upside potential, etc.. Obviously, HR also needs to: create short list of candidates; co-ordinate the candidate slates and arrange travel (handle expenses reimbursements) and schedule the job interviews either on site or via hirevu, or skype or oovoo; decline unsuitable candidates; reference check; draft the offer letters; help sell and “close” the candidate and obviously be the primary point of communication and contact for the candidate; and “on-board” the new hire. Overall, then, HR should be primarily responsible (although shared with the line) for the social media strategy, the interview/candidate experience and the firm’s employment brand execution.
Line Managers need to select the resume/candidates to be interviewed; evaluate the candidate’s technical skills and knowledge. Assess the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Determine if the candidate is an ideal “Fit” for her department and team. Present the department and company as an ideal place to work and layout a coherence career path and training/development program. The line should also work with HR and Compensation on the salary offer and assume a major portion on the new hire’s “on-boarding” experience. In a word, Line Managers are the ultimate hiring Managers and are critical in the hiring process and don’t forget they are HR’s number one client group!
Keep in mind, then, hiring is a shared company responsibility and it works best when the Line and HR have a co-equal balance in staffing the firm. I have been lucky in my Staffing career to work for companies where this was the case.
Author – Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt, MBA an American who has lived in Great Britain, obtained an MBA in Finance from Rutgers where he was appointed a Ralph Bunche Fellow while working his way through graduate school at an executive search firm between classes; he also is an ex-Corporate Finance/Capital Markets Associate turned Recruiter, who has HR experience across several industries, achieving outstanding successes in leadership roles in: Global Talent Acquisition, Global University Relations, Global Employment Branding, and Diversity Recruiting most notably at several leading Global Fortune 500 businesses throughout the US.