HR serves indispensable functions to provide redress to employees’ grievances, compile and enforce the Company Code of Conduct, handle benefits, facilitate reviews, training, all sorts of compliance issues, keep the Company safe from legal liability, etc. etc.
HR is generally not well suited to attract, screen and hire (but they do). HR is the gatekeeper of the talent a Company incorporates, and overall we can say that your Company will perform as good as the people you hire. Keeping the best people out and selecting the mediocre ones hinders the Company competitiveness, innovation and risk-taking.
HR by nature and necessity is risk-adverse: who wants an HR Department that puts the Company at risk? 100% compliance is the measure of good HR. People tend to hire the people they like. We tend to like people alike to us. Everyone knows that being liked by your interviewer is essential to get hired (and promoted once inside).
Risk-taker, those indispensable individuals that bring the necessary innovation and breakthroughs (the real ones!) any Organization needs to stay relevant and lead the way, are the antithesis of a process-oriented, compliance-vigilant, methodical, organized, routine, predictable, reliable, safe-at-all-cost HR worker.
When put in the position they claim as their title-right to chose the new team members for any team in the Organization, HR does what it knows best: stay safe, chose people who fit the mold, people like themselves.
It is said that most HR departments would not hire as employees the very people who founded the Company! Would Apple’s HR hire a smelly, disheveled Steve Jobs?
Will Oracle hire a self-centered, arrogant, my-way-or-the-highway Larry Ellison?
Nevertheless, those people precisely made those companies possible, including the jobs of everyone at HR!
Candidates to positions at any area of the Organization should be selected and screened by the people they will report to. Does this create a risk of cronyism and favoritism? Sure! People like to work with… people they like, just like HR! Question is: which risk are you willing to take as an Organization?
While HR should perform background checks, reference checks, drug screening, degree validation, etc. the rest of the selection for a successful Organization that thrives on innovation and taking risks should stay away from HR.
Jene C Paz