Keep Recruiting and HR Together

Here is my semi-annual appeal to HR and recruiting leaders who don’t get along and want to go their separate ways: Keep recruiting and HR together under one umbrella called “human resources.”

If you’re one of those recruiting professionals who feel like HR just doesn’t understand what you do, I will challenge you with one question: Does it matter? The COO may not understand the intricacies of finance or logistics, but, if he’s doing his job well, he has the back of his team.

If your CHRO doesn’t support your recruiting team, fix that.

And if you’re one of those HR business partners who hates recruiting and doesn’t want anything to do with the talent acquisition process, I’ll challenge you with a question: Who cares? It’s great that you don’t like recruiting. I don’t like raw tomatoes. But, just as nobody forces me to eat salad with tomatoes on it, nobody is asking you to hire people.

Get back to work and stop being so disrespectful.

When you create multiple factions with different reporting relationships — Talent, HR Ops, Learning — you remove power from experts, and you maintain the narrative that “HR” is cumbersome, outdated, and soft. You perpetuate the notion that it’s best to keep HR small and embedded in the business rather than create a monolithic department that runs about as effectively as a government agency.

But you are human resources — all of you talented recruiters, training professionals, business partners — and the function of HR is only ineffective if you’re ineffective.

So my new year’s dream for human resources is to find a way to stay connected with itself and relevant to its clients. Keep HR and recruiting together for the sake of the function, but more importantly, for the sake of delivering smooth and unbroken services to your companies.

FOT Background Check

Laurie Ruettimann
Laurie Ruettimann is a former HR leader and an influential speaker, writer and marketing advisor. Her work has appeared in many mainstream print publications and major news media outlets. You can find her on twitter at @Lruettimann.


  1. Kind of on a similar note, at my company, leadership development, performance management, and L&D were all under one umbrella — talent management. Then the company decided to break up the band to enable each function to “dive more deeply” into its area of expertise. As if the pool was shallow before the split? Now that there are three separate silos, there’s been a marked decrease in collaboration, to the detriment of the overall employee experience, which is a shame. Oh well.

  2. Ed Danielski says:

    Outstanding Laurie! I have regularly commented on the great harm human resources is doing to their function by continually creating new names for their function and new titles for their jobs. It sends a clear message to senior management, the organization, and the rest of the world that human resources is not sure of what it is, what it does, and how it contributes. The latest move is the march toward Human Capital Management. as the new up to date and dazzling HR. Splitting the Human Resources function into separate Recruiting (sorry, talent management sounds like you are looking for acts for “America’s Got Talent”), Training, Compensation, Engagement, etc. While the conversation lately is all about giving employees a clear understanding of what their organization is about, Human Resources wants to split itself in diverse and separately operating entities. HR talks about synergy but wants to practice dichotomy. The result is that in many organizations employees are roaming the halls looking for a Human Resources person to help them, but all they find are Human Capital Officers.

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