Some HR candidates need ‘hire education’

January 26, 2018

Where do candidates for HR positions get their “hire education”? Based on the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2017 HR Jobs Pulse Survey in California, 45% of recruiters hiring human resources talent in the Golden State said applicants lacked crucial HR know-how, as well as business acumen (43%) and leadership skills (35%).

Nearly 1,000 SHRM members responded to the recent survey—and 69% said they experienced some level of difficulty recruiting for HR positions in 2017. California employers filled on average 2.9 HR positions over the year, and the average time-to-fill for HR roles was 38.6 days—higher than the national 28.4 days across industry sectors.

Laura Mazzullo, owner of East Side Staffing, a New York City-based recruitment firm focused on HR roles, told SHRM that this finding may indicate not so much a dearth of talent as employers taking the wrong approach to hiring.

“HR pros at all levels will require some training,” she told the society’s publication, HR Today. “With agile organizations evolving fast, today’s HR employees need continuous development. The clearer you are about what is truly necessary in a candidate and not solely ideal, the easier it will be to identify a great candidate when they come along.”

It’s unrealistic to expect to hire perfection into your organization, Meghan M. Biro, founder of TalentCulture, also told SHRM.

“When employers are hiring for HR roles, they’re going to need to take responsibly for at least a certain amount of training and development—and that’s regardless of skills,” she said.

New HR hires need to learn “the particular, unique workplace culture of a given company and …[be] aligned with that culture.”

Mazzullo also advised recruiters and hiring managers to practice empathy. “If you were a candidate, would you want someone to hire you even if you lacked a few things on their ‘wish list’? Would you want someone to stretch you, train you and set you up for future success? Remind yourself of a specific time in your HR career when someone gave you a chance, even when you didn’t have every single item required on their wish list.”

Leaving HR vacancies open for the length of time that survey respondents cited—waiting for the perfect candidate—creates more problems, Mazzullo said.

“There are tactical, negative effects to waiting for perceived perfection,” she said. “HR teams become disengaged and burnt out, as they are doing more work than they are compensated for or can handle. They wait for months for help that doesn’t arrive. Additionally, your employer brand is negatively impacted. It’s very easy for an employer to be known as the one with slow and unreasonable selection and hiring processes.”

Research contact: roy.maurer@shrm.org

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