In my own experience I know it’s challenging to engage hiring managers during a recruitment process. For example, it’s often difficult to schedule an interview with a suitable candidate shortly after you have selected that candidate. As a result the process takes ages which increases the risk of losing that candidate. When talking to HR Managers it turns out I’m not the only one with this experience. That’s why I’d like to share with you what I learned over the years.
1. Give hiring managers data on their own hiring performance – even if it’s ugly
What surprises me is that we just don’t use that much data about our hiring process. The only metric that counts when we keep experiencing we’re in a War for Talent, is days talent standing out. Do you know how long your candidates are waiting? Can you exactly pinpoint the time between your candidate sending their CV and final feedback? According to Dutch research at the beginning of 2017 this is on average 90(!!!) days.
I’ve learned to work very quickly when I recruited developers. These candidates are so wanted, that if you don’t have an efficient procedure, you just lose valuable candidates.
Give hiring managers insight in how many days talents are waiting – and how many candidates you are losing because of this… (if you don’t know, it might be a good idea to start asking the people who are turning you down). Show them where the bottle neck is and suggest a solution for this focused on the advantage for them. And why not compare different hiring managers? After all, nobody wants to be the worst performer… I promise you, these mirrors will put things in motion.
2. Show them you’re there to help but that hiring is a team effort
Of course it’s in the best interest of the hiring manager that the vacancy gets filled quickly. It is good to emphasize that pain. So ask your hiring manager: ‘What are the consequences for you, your team, and your deliverables if we don’t get this position filled in the next two months?’
And then you can prove your added value as a talent advisor by showing your hiring manager how important it is to work together and to engage the whole team. Perhaps you can make an action plan together on how to reach as many candidates by sharing the job post, by referral programs, by making recruiting an engaging team effort…
3. You are the expert in recruiting but they are the expert in their domain
Everyone has their own expertise. It’s the art to connect the best of both worlds and to appreciate the other for his or her expertise. So the best talent of a recruiter is probably to make sure the hiring manager shares his knowledge and network, making it easier for you to do your job! Some things a hiring manager can help you with is insight in the competition, the places to find the candidates they are looking for,…. Be sure to ask lots of questions and to show appreciation for their help.
4. Start building hiring skills
When you’re a recruiting expert, it’s easy to get frustrated by the lack of recruiting skills of a hiring manager. As if finding the right talent isn’t enough of a challenge these days. We can make our own and the hiring managers life a lot easier if we make recruiting a core part of the company culture. This means that we guide our co-workers throughout the hiring process and at the same time train them the right skillset for recruiting. It takes some effort in the beginning but leads to them becoming more engaged in the process and to quicker hiring processes.
Teams win and lose together. When recruitment becomes this team effort, then everyone should be rewarded for the effort, not only the recruiter or the hiring manager. The same holds when things don’t work out. This might sound awkward but it’s all a matter of ownership and accountability. How would that feel for you if quickly finding the best candidates wasn’t just you giving it your all but a shared effort? If your recruitment would benefit from the Knowledge of the Team and not just lean back on yours? How would that work for you, for the team, for the candidate’s experience?
These are 5 tips drawn upon my own experience. I hope they are helpful. Have you got any tips of your own on engaging your hiring managers and their teams that you would like to share? Or any ideas you want to share when reading my 5 tips? Let me know in the comments below!