How to get recruiters and hiring managers on the same page
If it wasn't for hiring managers, recruiting would be so easy.
This is one of the conclusions drawn from my annual Recruiting and Hiring Challenges Survey 2005. There's still time to participate in the survey. A few more respondents will further validate the results.
In the meantime, here are some other preliminary conclusions from the survey results:
How do these results compare to your own experiences? Feel free to send me your comments and thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There's a lot of internal inconsistency here. For one thing, you can't be strategic unless you can convert your business strategy into a series of tactics and programs. In hiring, the workforce plan is the primary means to develop the best set of tactics and programs.
Another part of the internal inconsistency problems relates to recruiters' inability to find enough top candidates. From the recruiting department perspective, this was attributed largely to lack of resources and problems with hiring managers.
There's definitely some truth in this regarding lack of resources. I believe most corporate recruiting departments are understaffed. I also think there's some truth to the hiring manager problem, but I believe this is overstated. I think corporate recruiting departments need to take some blame here, but more on this in a moment. The fact that 88% of corporate recruiting departments indicated they didn't cold call or source passive candidates seems to indicate a real void in the skill set of corporate recruiters as a group. This lack seems to correlate very closely to what we hear from hiring managers. In fact, you might want to send this super quick survey Hiring Manager Survey 2005 to some of your hiring manager clients to validate this.
Earlier surveys of hiring managers echo that their number one problem is also the lack of enough top candidates in timely fashion. However, they attribute the problem to different causes:
The new survey will validate the hiring manager perspective on the problem. Regardless, the real truth about the problems involved in not hiring enough top candidates is somewhere in between the recruiter and hiring manager views.
Overall, I think the bigger problem is that we haven't yet figured out the big problem. As a result, everyone is working really hard doing the wrong stuff. That's the real problem. In this article, I'd like to address the little problem of how to get recruiters and hiring managers onto the same page. Here are four things you can do now to minimize this problem.
From what I've seen, the primary reason hiring managers and recruiters don't see eye-to-eye is a lack of clarity regarding real job needs. This is also the cause of the number one hiring mistake: hiring people who are competent, but not motivated to do the work required. If you don't know what work is required, how can you find people motivated to do it? On the flip side, this also correlates directly with the reason candidates who voluntarily leave within the first year say about why they're leaving: the work they're required to do is not what they were told they would be doing.
Bottom line: More time must be spent by recruiters and hiring managers clarifying job expectations in much more detail. Most managers and recruiters believe they have a great understanding of real job needs, but in practice it turns out this understanding isn't detailed enough.
This group debriefing is important in a number of ways. For one, it increases the role and influence of the recruiter. For another, it prevents good candidates from getting excluded for silly reasons. Too many interviewers globalize strengths and weaknesses, overvaluing presentation rather than true performance. By evaluating the candidate across a number of important job traits, the globalization problem is eliminated. This insures objectivity and balance.
The group setting also minimizes the impact of emotional decisions, especially if interviewers are required to justify their rankings with the detailed facts obtained during the one-question interviewing process.
I believe recruiters need to take on more responsibility for the hiring and recruiting process. This establishes process control and eliminates many potential problems before they arise. While obtaining more resources and implementing a workforce plan are long-term solutions, getting recruiters and hiring managers onto the same page is something that you can do today. As you'll discover, that's really all there is to managing hiring managers.
- Lou Adler
Lou Adler (email@example.com) is the president of The Adler Group, a training and consulting firm helping companies make hiring top talent a more systematic process (www.adlerconcepts.com). His Amazon best-seller Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 1997, 2002) started the performance-based hiring and selection movement. This was followed-up with the award-winning Nightingale Conant audio tape program, POWER Hiring: How to Find, Assess, Hire and Keep Great Talent (1998). His latest book project, The Future of Hiring (2005), describes how to combine technology, creative sourcing, and a great recruiting organization to make hiring the best a true business process. Adler is a veteran recruiter and founder of CJA Executive Search. His early industry career included general management positions with the Allen Group, as well as senior-level financial management positions with Rockwell International's Automotive and Consumer Electronics groups. Adler holds an MBA from UCLA and a B.S. in Engineering from Clarkson University, New York.
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