Why HR Shouldn’t Handle Recruiting

Carol Schultz
4 min readFeb 9, 2023

By Carol Schultz

When a company needs to bring new talent on board, finding the right candidate is priority number one. But if the hiring process is funneled through Human Resources (HR), your company will most likely be disappointed in the results­. In most situations, HR is not the department or the people you want working on your recruitment needs.

Contrary to some people’s beliefs, HR isn’t in the business of excelling at recruiting. Your company is better served using a reputable third-party recruitment agency or an internal recruiting team that’s undergone extensive training.

Why Isn’t HR Right for the Job?

HR has its place in an organization. It can help your company keep up with OSHA regulations, deal with a unionized workplace, comply with labor and employment laws, dispense benefits, and more. However, when it comes to recruiting, HR is destined to fail. Here’s why.

HR Lacks the Expertise

From my research and experience working with CHROs, chief people officers, and others in high-ranking HR positions, 98% have zero experience with direct recruiting. The remaining 2% may have worked in agencies or corporate recruiting, but they certainly haven’t mastered the art of the search. Mastering the ins and outs of recruiting takes years and requires specialized training.

That makes sense if you think about it. How could anyone have much expertise in a given department if the person doesn’t work in that department? Yet, we put HR in charge of recruiters and recruiting efforts?

Oftentimes, HR is responsible for hiring recruiters. But how can it do that effectively? HR employees don’t know what questions to ask or where to begin in the interview process. How can you ask questions to determine if a recruiter is suitable if you don’t understand what great recruiting is?

HR Has the Wrong Perspective

When HR, or the internal recruiter working under the auspices of HR, sets out to fill a position, the work is generally approached from the perspective of filling the position and nothing more. So, HR will post the hiring ads, receive the resumes, run them through a keyword app to narrow down the search, co-conduct interviews, and make the hire. The whole process is cut and dried, black and white.

But recruiting is awash in shades of gray. A good hire requires a deep perspective to get the decision right. Additionally, to be most effective, your company needs to begin recruiting before you have a deficit. Rather than letting applicants find their way to your company, your company must seek out qualified candidates. This is referred to as old-fashioned headhunting — a skill that has gone by the wayside since the rise of the internet.

The bottom line: If HR or internal recruiters aren’t taught to recruit by a true headhunter, they won’t be as proactive as they need to be.

How Does Using HR for Hiring Impact Your Business?

When companies turn to HR for their hiring needs, it affects the business in three significant ways:

Wasted Resources

Slotting talent recruitment under HR makes it a cost center rather than the talent engine and revenue generator it should be. It signals that the executive team doesn’t understand that recruiting should report to the CEO, as the HR head typically does.

As a result, the business will likely lose money. HR-based recruiting is essentially a wasted resource. Instead, a company should put these funds into proven recruiting strategies like coaching and training.

Lower-Quality Candidates

Remember, HR simply solicits applicants to apply for a job. HR teams aren’t actively seeking out the best talent. They may not even know what the best talent looks like.

Consequently, your company may not always have “the best of the best” to choose from, resulting in poor candidate selections and questionable hires.

Higher Employee Turnover

Since HR is unlikely to “get it right” with its choices, your company will often end up with a mismatch, leading to higher employee turnover.

What Can Companies Do About Hiring?

Top management would benefit greatly from bringing in a recruitment expert to conduct a discovery session. Together, a determination could be made about whether coaching or training would be beneficial. Having a properly trained talent acquisition team will improve your organization’s recruiting and hiring process, attract top talent, cost less in the end, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

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CAROL SCHULTZ, founder and CEO of Vertical Elevation, is a talent equity and leadership coaching and advisory expert with 30 years in the business. She’s helped hundreds of companies transform their organizations and create sustainable, talent-centric cultures that run at maximum efficiency. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller Powered By People: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention, and Revenue (and How to Build One). Learn more at verticalelevation.com.



Carol Schultz

A talent equity and leadership advisory expert, Carol is recognized for her proficiency in corporate leadership & creating sustainable, talent-centric cultures