Big companies that centralize staffing decisions are doing it wrong.
"I try to tell the headquarter people that it's the local agencies who are responsive and care more about their reputation and the people they send. But they don't listen," says a Fortune 100 executive friend of mine who has managed plants around the country.
He's right of course, as anyone who works in staffing knows. If you work a desk for a national company, it's a job. If you work a desk for a locally owned company, you're putting you and your owner's local reputation on the line.
Sure, there are reasons why headquarter people think they should maintain decision-making power. Number one on the list is, obviously, that it increases their power. Numbers two three and four are rationalizations for reason number one.
You can see this problem of centralized governance everywhere. From Maduro's dictatorship in Venezuela to the failed Soviet state of the 20th century to the failure of large companies to keep top talent.
You can't keep top talent if you aren't letting them do their job.
Of course, smaller companies can make this mistake too. Back in the day when I was trying to do everything at Tempworks from sales to marketing to payroll to development sql database conversions and was failing at every one, I was lucky to hook up with a great business coach. His message to me was clear. Get out of the way.
Get the right people in place, hold them accountable, and get out of the way.
Decentralization is eating the world, and companies that fight it will lose.