The Reality For Recruiters
While you may have entered recruiting thinking that you’ll be taking all the decisions about who’s going to get hired and why and you may have developed all those skills and a suitable mindset, which a recruiter must have when assessing candidates, yet, after a while you realize that you have a limited decision making power, when it comes to actual hiring, as there’s always a hiring manager that can screw things up, by choosing the worst of the three shortlisted candidates or by scaring the best candidate away with whatever it is that he does.
After that realization, as a great recruiter you are, you may have even tried to consult and help hiring managers. But all in vain, as they always know best… So what you do in these cases?
Before proceeding, I’d like to share with you a belief of mine. Apart from sourcing and assessing candidates, recruiter’s job is to train hiring managers, for whom (s)he is recruiting. Educating your managers improves the quality of your hires and subsequently the quality and effectiveness of your job as a recruiter.
For sure, this is not an easy task to accomplish. The culture of your organization may not be welcoming such HR “intrusions” or it’s just that your hiring managers have been doing it wrong for long before you’ve got there. So who are you, that’s going to change this?! No matter the reasons and the difficulties you face, it’s vital that you educate them and for that is why I’ll be sharing some tips with you, on how to approach this hard element of your job, about which very few talk, but many lose their sleep over.
Recruiters, Start Small
You should start your efforts small. Begin by identifying just one hiring manager with whom you’ll work. Think of this person as a strong promoter, who’s gonna be your biggest fan, since you’ll have helped him build a great team. This will come to the ears of other hiring managers and it won’t be long before you’ll be the person to go, when it comes to recruiting a new team member.
The things you need to think when selecting your “first-to-coach-manager” are:
- How long has this person been in his role? Managers that have recently stepped up to their role, are more eager to learn and do a good job. They are more open to suggestions and help, especially from HR. If you approach them with a strong value proposition, which will influence their image and team’s performance, that will definitely catch their attention.
- Focus on outgoing people. This characteristic will ensure that many more will learn about your expertise and willingness to help, because outgoing people have a larger social circle, with which they share such information. Also, try selecting individuals well-respected in your organization and with influence. Taking into account that those are role models and capable of influencing other, the benefits of partnering with them are evident.
Having onboard such hiring managers, it becomes more likely for other hiring managers to follow and start approaching you for guidance.
So, you have “convinced” a hiring manager to accept your guidance. But there’s so much to cover. Interview structure, biases, competencies, different types of fit, candidate experience, note keeping and the list goes on and on… From where do you begin?
Again, start small. Start by exploring the interview structure and its importance. This will constitute a framework for the interaction between the hiring manager and the candidate. Some of the questions you should cover are:
- Why it’s important to make the other person at ease?
- Patterns in past behavior, predictors of future performance
- The role of the environment and different types of fit
- Describing the role
- After interview steps
Make sure to conduct a few interviews together and then have a discussion about them. This way, you’ll understand how the hiring manager thinks, what he understands and what requires more effort from your end.
Another element, which is frequently an area of conflict between hiring managers and recruiters, is hiring manager’s focus on now and his number one priority to cover the vacancy with an experienced individual. What hiring managers must understand is that while this person could perform the job from day 1, this person will ask for more money and probably won’t be as committed and satisfied as someone else, with less experienced. Employees need to feel that each role develops them and if this criterion is not met, they may leave when such opportunity is given to them.
Your end goal should be to create a mindset, which will shape hiring managers’ perception about the candidates and the process itself. A perception that will help them understand the complexity and the contributing factors of a great hire. All your sessions should encompass this basic principle.
Undeniably, being a partner to hiring managers on top of all other activities you do, may be overwhelming. But it is also, extremely rewarding. A final advice for all recruiters out there: start small, be consistent and focus on people that can actually change and benefit from your coaching. This is all you can do, and believe me, by doing it you’ll be improving tremendously your hiring decisions, your employer brand and the experience of your candidates!
About the Author
Igor Bobryk works in HR at Vodafone Greece and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Science and M.Sc. in HRM. He has professional experience in various HR areas, from recruitment to LMS administration and HR reporting. He contributed to Frapress (Greek content), Fortune Greece and other blogs specializing in HR, LinkedIn and career topics. Due to his passion for work, he has a great interest in employment topics, both from the employer and the job seeker’s perspective. Anything that has to do with job ads, LinkedIn, interviewing, career management, employer branding, recruiting activities and recruiting technologies excites him a great deal. Finally, Igor is a huge fan of LinkedIn and a very active member of the LinkedIn community, so don’t hesitate to add him to your professional network.