During my last 13 years in the recruitment industry, I cannot tell you how many times I had hiring managers tell me, “Just send me the best talent.” This statement was the hiring manager’s idea of a job description or a roadmap on what qualities he was looking for in a candidate. When faced with this, like any good recruiter or HR professional, I began probing a little more, asking more questions to get a better sense of what the hiring manager was looking for in terms of personality and background. The reaction I usually got to these probing questions? “I don’t have time to go into all of that, I will know it when I see it. Just send me the best talent.”
The toughest to fill jobs invariably become tougher to fill if the recruiter isn’t sure what kind of talent he is looking for. If the hiring manager could spend a little more time and thought on the front end to figure out what type of talent the company needs, it would save the hiring manager a ton of time on the back end. Typically, when hiring managers don’t know what they want, they end up interviewing a lot of candidates in the hopes of figuring it out. In the end, this is not the most effective use of anyone’s time.
In fairness to hiring managers, they are busy and in reality, if they are hiring, they are already working two jobs. It takes a lot of time to interview candidates and still do your day job. To make matters worse, most companies make it difficult for hiring managers to engage in the hiring process. Complicated ATS systems that only HR knows how to use make it virtually impossible for a hiring manager to take control of the process. With everything a hiring manager has on his plate, the last thing he has time for is to get trained on an HR system that he may only use a couple times a year.
Hiring Manager’s Expectations
And what about the candidates? Where do they fit in this scenario? Here are three simple tips for the hiring manager to better engage the right candidates.
1. Hiring managers should be aware that from the moment a candidate reads a job description, she is forming a perception of the hiring manager. If a hiring manager cannot, or will not, put in the time to write a thoughtful job ad, there is a high probability that once hired the candidate may not receive a clear direction on responsibilities; instead the candidate will be expected to figure it out on her own.
2. When hiring managers use interviews as a way to figure out what they want, candidates typically don’t get timely and concise feedback, often leaving them with a bad impression. If this happens frequently, it can hurt a company’s employer branding.
3. I suggest all hiring managers sit for 30 minutes with the recruiter responsible for filling the job. In the meeting, get an idea of what the market will bear for this type of position as the labor market is – like any other market – ruled by supply and demand. Once the recruiter has guidance on the type of talent the hiring manger wants to see, the recruiter will only present qualified candidates, allowing the hiring manager to focus on their own career. Using a system like SmartRecruiters is so easy and intuitive that it will help get the hiring managers more involved, freeing recruiters to be the human capital experts they are.