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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MVP Hiring Managers

Earlier this year, our Talent Acquisition team was given the opportunity to give the rest of the organization a sneak peek into our world.  The idea was that we could show everyone what was “behind the curtain” of the Talent Acquisition department.  In other words, it gave us a chance to dispel some myths and preconceptions that people have regarding recruiting.  During our presentation it occurred to me that there are hiring managers out there that don’t understand how vital their role is in attracting the best talent to their teams.  The reality is that recruiting is the ultimate team sport and the hiring manager could very well be the MVP.  So with that in mind, here are some tips that as a hiring manager you can utilize to help your recruiter be more effective and keep them from going completely crazy. 

Approach the recruiting process with a sense of urgency –
The importance of this cannot be overstated and the reasons why are numerous.  As a hiring manager, your insight and decisions are what keeps the process moving forward.  If you have a strong talent acquisition partner, it’s ultimately your actions that decide how quickly the process moves and how quickly your opening gets filled.  Another thing to consider as Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest state in their article The Benefit of Urgency in a Talent Short Market: “It is folly to assume there is an unlimited talent pool in this market…Once a passive candidate knows that they are attractive to other organizations, there is a very short period of time to make that hire.”  Top Talent is in high demand.  Because of this, it’s important to move quickly.  Doing so will help keep the candidate engaged in the process and reduce the risk of losing the candidate to another company. 

Treat your recruiter as a business partner, not an order-taker –
A strong recruiting partner will act as more than just someone who pulls resumes from job boards.  Gone are the days where you throw your recruiter a job description and they inundate your mailbox with random resumes.  Granted, the first challenge is ensuring that you have a competent Talent Acquisition partner. They should be your local labor market expert, your talent consultant and advisor, and your chief strategist when it comes to finding and attracting qualified people.  If you treat them as a fellow professional, make time for them and their questions, and make a concerted effort to partner with them, they have a lot to contribute to your business beyond just throwing resumes your way. 

Embrace the fact that your feedback isn’t just about speed, it’s also about quality –
There have been numerous times when discussing a candidate that I have had a hiring manager say something to the effect of “There was just something about them that wasn’t quite right.  I can’t put my finger on it, but my gut is telling me that he/she is not the right fit.”  Now, that’s all well and good.  That phenomenon can occur when we are interacting with other people.  However, this puts your recruiting partner in quite a bind.  First off, detailed feedback is important because it gives your recruiter something to convey to the candidate when they tell them that they are not moving forward.  More importantly, your feedback helps recruiters hone in on what you are looking for in a candidate.  Recruiters use your feedback to adjust their strategy and focus on finding the right people for your role.  If you are having a “gut” feeling about a candidate, it’s important to ask yourself “What prompted that feeling?”  It could have been a response to a question, a non-verbal cue, or a number of other things that you can share with your recruiting partner.  If a candidate falls short of your expectations, share the specific reasons why and you will see higher quality candidates going forward. 

Channel your own recruiting skills –

People are often surprised when I tell them that they can be the most effective recruiter for their own roles.  The reasoning is simple:  If you are a hiring manager, chances are that you have more knowledge in your field than the person that is recruiting for you.  That’s not always the case, but it happens frequently.  There is also a good chance that you have a network of people that work within your field.  Talk to your recruiting partner about what you can do to help find candidates.  There are many tools out there that can help you promote your openings, as well as keep track of your professional network.  

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