The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Working With Recruiters

Editorial by Jim Fairfax

September 2012

As the traditional summer slowdown in hiring ends and companies are reviewing their recruiting needs, we remind you that the September to November period is often very competitive for talent. This pent up demand for talent should motivate us to move quickly and effectively through the search process, not allowing unnecessary delays to inhibit our chances of hiring the preferred candidate.

Howard Adamsky posted an article back in June that caught our attention then but seems much more relevant right now. He prefaces his article by reminding us that success in recruiting top talent is a result of a successful partnership between Hiring Managers, Recruiters and Candidates. While the Recruiter is commercially motivated to effectively manage his scope of a Search Project and the Hiring Manager are motivated by organization process needs left unattended or performed poorly by the incumbent, the Candidate sits outside these two motivators and doesn’t necessarily have to tolerate a lack of communication, follow-up or delay. The Candidate can simply turn his/her attention to exploring other appealing opportunities.

It makes sense, therefore, that the partnership between Hiring Manager and Recruiter has to be highly effective to maintain the ability to motivate the Candidate. Any breakdown in communications, follow-up or any unexplained delay can loosen our emotional hold on candidates and, once they’ve lost interest it’s hard to bring them back.

While we admit and accept that there’s much we Recruiters have to do and do well as our share of the partnership, there are fundamentally important parts of the recruiting process that Hiring Managers can do and do well to ensure success. Howard has prepared some tips to highlight how Hiring Managers can increase their odds of success by helping the Recruiter help them. Enjoy the following article:

http://www.ere.net/2012/07/19/the-hiring-managers-guide-to-working-with-recruiters/#more-1249

The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Working With Recruiters

by Howard Adamsky

Jul 19, 2012

According to Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” I see this as the essence of teamwork, and that is just what recruiting has become — an exercise in teamwork, with people working together to hire the best employees and build the best companies. With this in mind, and in order to be assured that we are operating in a smooth and effective manner, I ask the following:

  • Let me know when you have a position open as soon as it has been approved. The sooner you let me know that a position has been approved, the sooner I can meet with you, the sooner I can clearly understand what you are looking for in the candidates you want to hire, and the sooner I can begin my work in sourcing these candidates. Good candidates are not easy to find, so the more running room I have to develop an intelligent sourcing plan, the better off we’ll be.
  • If I call or email you, please respond. I understand you are busy. So am I. What I’m probably most busy with is trying to do all that is required to fill your position. I know that running your organization is a top priority, but hiring is a major part of running a business, and I need you to be responsive to me when I reach out. That’s how a good and productive team works.
  • Please respond to resumes quickly. Most candidates have a very short shelf life and little patience for organizations that do not respond quickly. Talent is tight and good people can go to a number of other employers in a flash. If I get a resume in front of you, please respond as quickly as possible so I can move the process on to the next step. I am not just concerned about whether your answer is “yes” or “no.” What makes my life very difficult is no response at all, and being stuck between a hiring manager who is not reactive and a candidate who is calling me looking for an answer to a simple question: “Does the manager want to see me or not?” Please do not put me in that position, because it makes all of us look foolish.
  • Please see that your interviewing team is ready. The candidate interviewing experience is critical to the ongoing success of the organization. Remember that prospective employees of today can become the customers or partners of tomorrow. They can refer others to your jobs. Be sure your interviewing team is ready to do a world-class job in all candidate-facing activities. This means they should have reviewed and understood the position for which they are interviewing and read the candidate’s resume before the candidate arrives. The team should be prepared to discuss the candidate with you after the interview is completed.
  • Inform me as to what you see as the next step in the process. Please get back to me with your thoughts, ideas, or questions right after the interview has taken place. Be advised that I can, in most cases, keep the candidate warm for a reasonable time, but I can’t say or do anything without hearing from you. Once again, make us all look good by being responsive and moving quickly as this is in everyone’s best interests.
  • Be sure to only ask questions that relate to the position. We live in a highly litigious society, and as your partner in the hiring process, it is my job to see that we never have a legal problem as a result of inappropriate questions being asked. Please remember that all questions asked should pertain only to the candidate’s experience as it relates to their ability to perform the duties of the position for which they are interviewing.
  • Remember to sell the company. Whether or not the candidate joins our organization is far more in your hands than in mine. But if you want to have the candidate join our company, you will have to sell it to the candidate. If the candidate is interviewing elsewhere, that is exactly what the competition will be doing. Be sure to let the candidate know why they should be seeing us as their next place of employment, and what some of the advantages are at our company. Remember, we always want the choice about whether to move forward or not to be our choice, not the candidate’s.
  • Please help me to close the candidate if I make that request. Landing a candidate is not always an easy thing to accomplish. As the marketplace tightens and top talent becomes harder to find, candidates will very often have multiple offers. I will do whatever I can to pre-close the candidate, get them prepped for an offer, and everything else necessary to make things happen. However, at times I will need a bit of help to make things happen and close the deal. If I call you to set up a meeting or phone call to lay out a capture strategy (see my article entitled How to Develop a Capture Strategy), please work with me on this. Together, as a team, we have a far better chance of successfully landing the candidate.
  • Leave the offers to me. Extending offers is a big part of my job, and I know exactly how to do it. Extending an offer is asking for the sale, and it has to be done at the right time, in the right way, and under the right circumstances. Please let me handle it as I see fit. (By the way, if you are the one who determines compensation, let’s talk, because low-balling the candidate is a catastrophe of major proportions!).

If I as the recruiter can get you as the hiring manager to work with me and follow these simple guidelines, we will both be successful, both help to build this company, and both demonstrate the ongoing value that teamwork brings to those who choose to use it.

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