Dutch HR Leads Hiring Process

179059809Dutch organizations show huge ambition toward further development of their CW programs with HR in the lead. The responsibility for hiring external staff must primarily be placed with the HR department. In addition, hiring staff should evolve into a total talent management approach.

This is the outcome of a survey conducted by the Dutch knowledge platform ZiPconomy. More than 200 CW professionals, mostly with a procurement or HR background, participated. They answered the following question: Hiring: HR or Procurement?

HR is expected to play a major role in directing the entire hiring process and developing a strategic vision. HR should also take on tasks related to the hiring process, which is highly uncommon at present. Such tasks could include employer branding, onboarding and offboarding and developing talent pools of independent professionals.

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Organizations are ambitious when it comes to managing external hires. There is coordination between different decentralized departments that hire or hiring is centrally directed at half of the participating organizations. And half of those organizations want to make the transition to  total talent management in the course of three years. A setting where a permanent/flex strategy is fully integrated, in terms of both sourcing and HR.

Some of the survey results.

  • Within the participating organizations, 15% of the workforce are hired as interim professionals. A percentage that is expected to remain stable in the coming years. The for-profit sector expects this percentage to grow.
  • Interim professionals are mainly hired to absorb peak capacity demands or to fill positions that are difficult or impossible to fill by permanent staff.
  • Developing a strategic vision on hiring interim professionals is a top priority for many organizations. The main aim is to control costs and to get a handle on the effectiveness of deploying external staff.
  • Currently, in most organizations HR/recruitment and procurement share the responsibility for the CW program. The majority of the survey participants would like to see a (modest) shift towards sole responsibility for the CW program in the hands of HR/recruitment.
  • Participants in the survey particularly want HR to take a more coordinating roll and to develop a strategic vision on sourcing and hiring interim professionals and on programs to enhance the effectiveness of working with interim professionals.
  • At the operational level, instead of taking over tasks from other departments, HR/recruitment should take on extra, currently underdeveloped tasks, such as employer branding, onboarding and offboarding programs and building communities of previously hired interim professionals.
  • Organizations show huge ambition towards the further development of their CW programs. When asked about the current maturity level of their CW programs, most respondents indicated they believed to be in the mid-range. However, many organizations want to make the transition from centralized hiring to total talent management in three years (!), which, given the intended time frame, is quite ambitious, if not overambitious (in my humble opinion). In addition, there is a major shift from decentralized to centralized hiring. Currently, 38% of hiring is decentralized (first two levels); in 2018 this will only be 8%.


In collaboration with ProCured, a Belgian procurement recruitment specialist, ZiPconomy is currently conducting a similar survey in the Belgian market. The English questionnaire for organizations that operate in Belgium can be found here.

  1. The survey participants are professionals involved in sourcing and hiring interim professionals (exclusive of agency recruiters). 47% of them are procurement professionals, 33% HR or recruitment professionals, 11% hiring managers and 10% finance or IT professionals.
  2. The survey questions were only about the hiring of and CW program for interim professionals.  That is, college-educated non-payroll workers who typically work on three- to 12-month assignments at an hourly rate of $50-$120, either as an independent professional (iPro) or on the payroll of a consulting firm or staffing agency.

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Hugo Ruts

Hugo Ruts
HugoRuts is founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZiPconomy, a Dutch blog and community for both contingent workforce professionals and independent professionals.

Hugo Ruts

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