19 October 2015
Bogan's Rant - With Michael McShane - October 2015
Left Hand Doesn't Know What the Right Hand is Doing!
Fellow Bogans, we seem to be following similar topics for rants
in recent times and I want some feedback! Who out there in the
internal HR/Recruitment world wants to write a retort to recent
Bogan Rants - remain anonymous or step out from the shadow -
doesn't bother me.
Let's get a different perspective.
What's twisted my jocks lately is the severe lack of
communication between HR and Line Managers when it comes to
recruitment expectations. I'm bang on track here and could enter
into a tirade citing 7 specific examples over the past 6 weeks, but
I'll restrict it to a few.
We all see those "position descriptions" (PD) that are about as
useful as an inflatable dartboard! They tell you next to nothing
about the role or responsibilities, or most importantly
exactly what the Line Manager wants to see in a
candidate - the stuff not in the PD! HR then pass on that PD to us
external recruiters along with a raft of bullet pointed
expectations that we must adhere to when sourcing
& presenting candidates - a list of "ideals". Fast forward 6
weeks and we hear that they've hired "Joe Muppet" who barely ticks
half of the "ideals" criteria. What?! How?! Why?! It's someone we
would not have even considered putting forward to the role based on
the criteria and if we did, I guarantee HR would have screened them
It's all because the left hand doesn't know what the right hand
really wants! Because the left hand is telling the right hand porky
pies!! If "excellent verbal & communication skills" are
required in the PD, shouldn't the folks doing the screening and
asking the questions also have them? Just a thought.
- - Someone please speak up and tell me why internal HR
professionals are doing the predominant & often critical stage
screening of technical resumes? (…and don't give me the BS that the
Line Manager's time is precious and they don't have time for that!
Rubbish - they're often roles critical to their department -
they'll have time, make time to look over an initial shortened list
and if they don't or won't, why are they sitting in that
- - Tell me why internal HR are telling me, a mining professional
of 20 years, why the perfect candidate I have submitted (culturally
& technically) isn't right for them and they won't be putting
them in front of the Line Manager?
- - Why do they get "offended" when I attempt to debate the
topic? Harden up - I'm trying to help!
LOOK OUT if we effectively circumvent "the
process" and go direct to the Line Manager! - We're told in no
uncertain terms (usually by an impersonal email) that "we'll strike
you off the list of suppliers" if we hear of you communicating with
Line Managers and not through HR! Why? Because they feel threatened
and about as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs -
more concerned about protecting their own role, being in control,
hiring (often average) candidates themselves and not in the best
interest of the organisation that employs them.
Unfortunately "common sense" isn't a flower that grows in
Let's go with one "hypothetical" example of where HR are not
communicating (effectively) with Line Managers - HR instruction is
knife edge clear with us - must have certain X commodity experience
and X software experience or they will not be
considered. They end up hiring a great person, but doesn't have the
software or commodity exposure requested! The Line Manager didn't
believe them to be important (nor did I and I did "try" to debate
that with HR), but HR were screening out all of our candidates (who
ticked every box) and providing the Line Managers with
resumes they were sourcing themselves - ours weren't even reaching
the Line Manager! Why ask for help?
Another example is where a client comes to us for assistance.
They are having trouble sourcing for the roles themselves (through
Seek - refer to previous rants about this version of sourcing
insanity!) and need help. Great, thanks, appreciate it! We bust our
guts to impress, put the VB tinny down and pull out all stops to
flush out a handful of candidates perfect for them. We wait for
feedback………wait some more……………. oh look! Tumbleweed!
...........wait some more……. take a sip on the VB..…. the
candidates call us seeking feedback……… nothing. Finally, some news!
Sorry, we've hired someone else (who is not remotely as good as the
candidates submitted) because we didn't want to pay an agency
The whole process was a waste of time and about as effective as
trying to staple water to a tree!
Don't just hire for skills! Hire for passion, personailty and
reputation! Skills are cheap - passion is hard to come by and
cannot be interpreted by "words" within a resume. That's where we
Not all internal HR are like this and you'll know who you are!
They encourage us to speak with Line Managers regarding their exact
expectations and ideals.
We all get that times are tighter than a dog in a cat flap.
We all know that companies are making more cuts than a surgeon
on Red Bull.
The more things change, the more they stay the same! Going
forward, things need to change. There are always opposing magnetic
forces between internal HR and external agencies and I can see why!
There are tools everywhere - I get that - be wary, they walk
Very keen on your thoughts and having a guest Bogan Retort
to this and previous rants relating to this similar topic! Write
Bogan's Pet Hate: The recruitment
industry at present! You'd love there to be a "must read" manual
for all of the relative "newbies" to the industry (<5yrs),
showing them what hasn't worked in the past so they can stop coming
in and making changes (the same old assumptions) that many of us
have seen not work over several previous cycles.
P.S Still hate coat hangers - they always tangle.