Yes, Most Recruiters Are Usually NOT HR Professionals

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Sep 9, 2014

Recruiters are not HR professionals.  And not all HR professionals are recruiters.

In companies, it’s typical to see recruiting fall under the broad human resources umbrella but it shouldn’t. Recruiting and HR need to be totally separate job functions joined at the hip so they can collaborate on succession planning, onboarding and the business-related priorities surrounding humans.

Full time recruiters are not HR professionals. They’re recruiting professionals.

Recruiting vs. HR

A full-time recruiter does not have the breadth of experience (not knowledge, experience) that an HR professional does. Recruiters do not handle performance issues, coach managers or tackle the many other day-to-day nightmares matters surrounding workplace regs like the ACA, FMLA, ADA and FLSA.

Recruiters should know about work authorizations and recruiting-related regs like the EEOC, Affirmative Action and OFCCP to name a few. (Although don’t get me started on the number of recruiters who don’t understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. That’s a story for another day.) A true HR professional should know about all of these regs.

Ever hear a job seeker complain about a bad interview experience? I have. People automatically assume that a recruiting professional represents the broad term of “HR.” All of a sudden a new HR-hater is born. HR professionals take the rap when the job seeker should be pissed off at the recruiter.

Let’s talk about the skill sets for each of these roles. How many HR professionals do you know who are great sales people? That’s a large part of what it takes to be a successful recruiter.

Recruiting means a focus on relationship building

Great recruiters are relationship builders. Whether they’re internal or external they build a network of clients and candidates. When done right, it’s a full-time job because recruiters don’t stop working, even if their company has no open positions.

There’s a difference between an HR professional and a recruiting professional. It’s more than just vocabulary. They’re not interchangeable occupations, period.

This was originally published on Kimberly Patterson’s Unconventional HR blog.