Who’s Responsible for Talent Selection?

Beth Miller |

Talent management, including talent selection, is Human Resource’s job, right? Yes, and no.

Yes, HR should be involved in the process. But employees in other departments also need a say.

If only HR  and the hiring manager chooses new hires, then the right employees probably aren’t being hired, because it’s difficult for just two people to see the whole picture and understand what is required for the job. And if HR is removed from the process, talent selection becomes less fair and consistent.

Who should you involve in selecting new talent?

As HR professional Chris Fields points out via SmartRecruiters, “Having more people involved in your hiring will increase the utilization of your system.”

He goes on to say that if only one HR person understands the selection process your company uses, and then they leave, the next person might not understand the system and its value. This means you need multiple people who understand your process and the systems in place.

The number of people depends on how large your company is—is it a startup or a large corporation? Yet, the person the new hire will be reporting to should absolutely be included. You’ll also want the manager’s manager to have a say.

And if your company is small, you may want to poll everyone in the company, or everyone in the department, to see what their needs are and what they hope for in the new person.

In their book The Talent Advantage, Alan Weiss and Nancy MacKay write about how important senior executives are in the process of selecting talent.

“…winning the war for talent starts at the top with the CEO… [the] CEO is key to holding senior executives accountable for attracting, recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent; [the] CEO must partner with HR to align talent management strategically.”

When considering who to involve, think about who really understands the company, the culture, and the skills required to fill the position. These people may not always be the top leaders in your organization.

No matter who is involved, everyone should coordinate and work together as a team. Each person should take ownership in the process.

How HR should work together with other managers and employees

In his post, Chris also provides a good method for Human Resources and other employees to work together. Consider how the steps below comparee to the process currently in place at your company.  

  1. HR locates the talent.
  2. HR shares the best applicants with the hiring manager(s).
  3. The hiring manager(s) selects the ones to be included in the process.
  4. HR conducts preliminary screenings and tests.
  5. HR consolidates the opinions of co-workers.
  6. HR and the hiring manager and/or the supervisor should conduct interviews.
  7. The final recommendation should get HR’s approval.

2012 Research from The Hackett Group shows that talent management is lacking because HR and business leaders are unable to work together.

Overall, the process should be thought out and the position well understood by all people who will be interviewing and evaluating the candidates.

Who in your company is involved in hiring decisions? Who else should be involved?

Steve Snodgrass

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Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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