It Takes Top HR Talent to Recruit and Manage the Best Talent


June 12, 2012

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the third in a series being sponsored by Allied Van Lines, one of the world’s largest moving companies. The 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey asked human resources professional about strategies, practices and performances related to mobility in the workplace.)

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the results of the Allied 2012 Workforce Mobility Survey.  We’ve examined how recruitment, retention and onboarding are all viewed by HR leaders across the country from companies of varying size.  As we wrap up the findings, today we are asking the question:

How much better would your HR department function — in recruitment, relocation,
onboarding and retention — if more staff members were “experts”?

For as much focus as organizations place on hiring the best talent and being able to keep them, they are not necessarily hiring human resource professionals who are “experts”.  Hiring professionals in any field or industry means you will need to pay more for the skills.  Since the HR function is viewed as a pure expense, organizations tend not to pay top dollar.  The problem with this is the organizaiton does not necessarily have HR pros with both the ability to strategize and execute on a vision.  Many only know how to execute.  This is why you hear time and again about HR just being in place to carry out the wishes of the C-suite.

According to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility survey, the level of expertise among the HR professionals participating varied substantially. But, it did not vary predictably.Larger-company HR departments are not more likely to be staffed by “experts”.  For example, when asked about familiarity with recruitment:

Small companies – 27 percent of HR professionals say they are “expert.”
Midsize companies – 19 percent say this.
Large companies – 25 percent say this.
Mega companies – 23 percent say this.

I’ve said before that organizational retention is a group effort.  The same can be said for recruiting and bringing new hires onboard in a way that makes them feel valued and wanted.  After all the results are in, it’s clear that organizations need to take a holistic approach to finding and keeping the best talent.  

What are you seeing in your company?  How are you doing compared to our survey respondents?  Please share with me in the comments.


  • Totally agree with you. Retention like culture is a strategic goal not a metric just to be measured. I like telling leaders that retention is a verb, therefore requiring action.

  • It is interesting to take these numbers with the mindset that people tend to overestimate their own ability or knowledge. I wonder how many of these experts are succumbing to this type of self-reported bias? Are we in even worse shape than we thought?

    For that matter, what constitues and expert? I’d expect it is the top of the population, maybe the most knowledgable 10%. (Not everyone can fit the bill, or it’s just being average, right?) From that approach, it appears we are not nearly as good as we think we are, as a profession. I’d be interested in seeing numbers from other functions.

  • I loved the question presented in this post. It really made me think both about the profession I serve (HR) and the profession I am in (marketing). Both industries have a vast array of functions to master, but is it realistic to expect that on person can be an expert in all of them? As Dwane pointed out, what constitutes an expert? Do we consider having a normal, working knowledge of a particular function to be expertise? It seems that way from these numbers.

    I thought about this one for a while yesterday and, after running it by some of my colleagues and friends in the HR industry, I wrote a post in response. Here is the link if you are interested:

Comments are closed.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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