Rebuilding Recruiting: Cost, Compliance, Process and Botox

2010 poses interesting cross roads in Talent Acquisition for many companies.  With the onset of changes from the IRS, DOL and new case law being defined about fair employment practices, COMPLIANCE AND COST MANAGEMENT have become driving forces over building good infrastructure.  These challenges have been compounded by the increase in focus around contingent labor as part of a total strategy, rebuilding talent  programs to support the ever changing needs, limited budgets, decision making capabilities and finally supporting ongoing mergers and acquisitions. In speaking with many Talent Management Leaders, it is not about doing “what is right” it is about “botox” and deploying solutions that can decrease cost and manage compliance. A leader in this space must focus on blocking and tackling and deploying solutions that leverage the resources they currently have in a way an organization is ready to have them perform.  The reality is, the READINESS and EXPECTATIONS, may not align with the RIGHT set of solutions.

This insight is as a result  of my activities over the last few months that have focused on audits, vendor selection, process documentation and technology implementations.  The themes for this have been “help me save money, make my life easier and keep me compliant”.  However while the themes are alive, the work expectations of a Talent Acquisition / Management leader have increased exponentially as they must execute strategically, tactically as well as block and tackle.  The internal struggle becomes do I check the box or do I do it right?   OR as I say do you do Botox or a full facelift?

While I am not sure this article will solve this problem,  this article will provide some benchmarks of how peers are successfully deploying solutions and working within these constraints.

Benchmarks:  What are some of your peers doing?


Company Description: Two large organizations, recent spinoff’s, no technology, variable hiring practices.

Limitations: Limited resources, budget for external consultants, executive appetite for doing the required pre-work and post implementation change management.

Botox Actions: Develop generic processes, hiring manager self service is a big decision, no integrations, career site facelift (simple), simple approval processes, job board memberships, basic on-boarding and compliance documentation.

Gaps: Internal mobility (process and policy),  Search firm management process and practices, ERP integrations, integrated background and screening vendors and thorough requirements development associated with college, internal, volume, professional and executive hiring practices.  Change management and user acceptance programs post implementation.


Focus: Contingent and Direct Hiring Practices.

Company Description: 5 Companies, 2 Global, variable hiring practices.

Limitations: Technology, policy adherence, corporate cultures, competing priorities and resources.

Botox Actions: Contingent Workforce Audits,  Direct Hire Audits, Process Documentation, Recruitment Operations Guide Creation.  Legal defensive support vs. pro-active policy adherence.

Gaps:  (Contingent): The ability to execute with speed.   (Direct):  Resources, change management, centralized policy administration, operational management resources dedicated to HR compliance.

Recruitment Delivery

Focus: Direct Hiring Practices.

Limitations: Process optimization, sourcing tools, assessment tools, on-boarding systems and practices, transactional service delivery (order taking focus).

Botox Actions: Increase in temporary hiring, adding of contract recruiters, investigation of RPO with longer decision cycles, basic branding and recruitment advertising support for web, social media execution w/o aligned strategy,  refined job postings and communications.

Gaps: Process development / optimization, vendor management practices, recruitment marketing strategy and metrics, workforce planning, consultative / high value recruitment delivery practices, alignment to the business, training and recruiter development.

Procuring External Solutions  (RPO, MSP, Research, Project Recruitment, Consulting)

Focus: Direct and contingent hiring practices.

Limitations: Spend and long term commitment to a solution.

Botox Actions: Business case development, increased supplier presentations, competitive pricing, longer decision making cycles, increase in  internal stakeholder management and contracts that assume less liability as a buyer of services.

Gaps: Budgets with decision making ability to spend.

Unexpected Distractions

As filling requisitions remains a focus, compliance and litigation can distract the progress of an HR / Talent Management and Contingent Workforce Management organization.  Below are a few snippets from, that are real issues causing a distraction in policies, practices and HR’s focus.

Legal Snippets

In Velez v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a jury awarded over $250 Million to a class of female sales employees who claimed that they were paid less than their male counterparts. Statistical analysis was used in an effort to show that females systematically received lower performance ratings than men in comparable jobs.

Social networking sites (e.g., FacebookMySpaceLinkedInTwitter, etc.) are fast becoming a popular tool for employers seeking information about job applicants. It has been reported that the number of employers currently using social media during the recruitment and hiring process has more than doubled in the past two years. According to the same source, 45 percent of employers currently use social networking sites to screen potential job candidates and 35 percent of those employers have rejected an applicant because of information they discovered, such as inappropriate pictures, information regarding alcohol or drug use, and postings in which the applicant “bad-mouthed” a former employer, bragged about prior acts of misconduct or made discriminatory remarks.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that may create additional liability for employers whose policies have a disparate impact upon minorities. On May 24, 2010, in Lewis v. City of Chicago, 560 U.S. _____ (2010), the Court held that a disparate impact discrimination claim may arise not only from the adoption of an employer policy which has a disparate impact upon individuals in a protected class, but also in all future implementations of the practice covered by the policy. With recent studies exposing the potential disparate impact of common employer policies, such as using social media for background checks and recruiting, this case may have a far-reaching effect.

Employers should remember that disparate impact claims may arise not only from the introduction of a policy such as a social media background check policy which results in a disparate impact or discrimination, but also each hiring decision which results from implementation of that policy. In light of this ruling, employers may want to consider these practical pointers:

  1. Examine your hiring, screening and promotion policies, including your social media background check and recruiting policies, to ensure they do not result in inequalities on the basis of protected classes, e.g., race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
  2. If your policies do result in such inequalities, ensure that you have documentation which establishes the business necessity of the policies; or
  3. Reexamine your policies and implement new ones which do not result in disparate impact or discrimination, and ensure that social media is not the sole source for recruitment and background checks.


Many organizations are rebuilding and having to work within the parameters that are acceptable within their organization today.  This should not stop good work it just makes the journey towards excellence bumpier and a longer road to travel. To all of those smart people I have and continue to work with – I appreciate that they continue to do great things – just baby steps instead of one giant step for mankind.  I would be happy to discuss these details in further, should you be interested, contact my at


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