12 Ways Hiring Managers Can Get More From Their Recruiting Partners

article by Howard Adamsky and Effie Magas Do you ever wonder what you can do to make hiring managers understand that recruiting is no easy task? Have you ever thought about how helpful it would be to have a set of guidelines you could send them that would summarize the best way to work with their internal recruiting partners? We did. That’s what lead us to develop the set of 12 guidelines below. This is a document that can be useful regardless of how large or small your company is or how it operates. 12 Things Hiring Managers Can Do to Get More From Their Recruiting Partners Feel free to customize any of these points to fit your particular organization. You might also want to consider sending it as an email to all of your hiring managers. It will benefit recruiter and hiring manager alike, resulting in a much smoother recruiting process and making the partnership between hiring manager and recruiter a more effective collaboration.

  1. Let us know as soon as a requisition is approved that adds to headcount. As recruiters, we need as much time as possible to start the process. Please don’t give us a requisition for a position that’s been open for two weeks and have it be the first time we are hearing of it. Give us the courtesy of being able to have enough time to plan our strategy and get the process rolling.
  2. Be sure to explain the exact kind of person you are looking to hire. Please don’t come to us and tell us that you are looking for the generic titles of “sales executive” or “software engineer.” We do understand what the titles mean, but we need more than this to be effective. We need a description (in writing) that details the type of experience, qualifications, and core competencies that the ideal candidate should possess.
  3. Remember to look inside the company to see if there is anyone who can be promoted into that position. We will not elucidate all of the reasons why promoting from within the organization is a good idea. That’s fodder for an entire article. Suffice it to say, as recruiters, our professional advice is to look around the organization to see if someone is capable of filling the position. Compare them to a few outside candidates if you like, but look in your own backyard before you send out the hounds.
  4. Be reasonable in your timeframe of candidate presentation. Recruiters are salespeople, organizational partners, and your best connection to the outside world when it comes to finding top-shelf candidates. But we are not magicians. Please don’t give us a requisition to fill on a Thursday and ask where the prospective candidates are on Friday. That makes us cranky. Good recruiters are people who are driven to succeed and understand that we are in a service role. As soon as we have a few good candidates, we will get them to you at breakneck speed. We want to fill the position as much as you do, but locating quality can take a bit more time than just tossing resumes in your direction.
  5. Respond to the resumes we present to you as soon as possible. Resumes may look like a pile of paperwork on your desk but they really are not. Each resume is a real person that we have cultivated, screened, and prepped about the organization. The people we have presented to you are waiting to hear whether you intend to move the interviewing process with them forward or not. Time kills all deals. Please respond quickly to resumes presented to you. If you can’t do that, let us know; we can always figure out some way of keeping the candidate warm. But if the candidate has to wait too long for some feedback, we begin to look a bit silly and our credibility suffers as well.
  6. Don’t rule out a candidate because they were previously part of a company you do not like. There was once a hardware manufacturer in New England that was a world-class organization. Times changed and they went out of business. Many hiring managers did not want to interview candidates who came from this organization, regardless of who they were and what they accomplished. That’s absurd. As a hiring manager, you do not interview companies. You interview candidates. Judge all candidates on their track record, abilities, and overall qualifications ó just as you would wish to be judged during your next interview.
  7. Learn how to interview. Most hiring managers assume that because they have been interviewing for a number of years, they are great interviewers. This is not always the case. Doing something for a long time does not mean you’re doing it well. Look for a workshop or seek out recruiting or HR for support, coaching, or even formalized training. The better you interview, the better the candidates you will hire.
  8. Let us know as quickly as possible if you want to move forward with the candidate or to have us close down the interviewing process. After you have interviewed a candidate, get back to your recruiting team and let us know what you’re thinking about moving forward with the candidate. Once again, we do have the know-how and the ability to keep the candidate warm for a reasonable period of time, but having a candidate stew for six weeks is the worst thing any of us can do.
  9. Don’t say a candidate is not a fit without providing specific reasons why. Just saying that a candidate is a “no go” doesn’t cut it. If we don’t receive feedback on why a candidate is not a fit, we will not be able to avoid passing the same type of candidate to you again in the future. Also, providing us feedback allows us to pass that feedback on to the candidate. This leaves them with a good impression of our selection process and will encourage them to look at our organization as other opportunities arise.
  10. Communicate with us if there are any changes to the status of the position. We will need to alter our sourcing and screening techniques based on this new information. As a result, we can guard against wasting your with unqualified candidates and our time with trying to source them. Please find the time to spend with us and follow through on this point. A few minutes of your time now is an investment that will save you a good deal of time down the road.
  11. Let us work with you to close the candidate you have chosen and thereby allow you to see the value and results of great teamwork. Tell us when you’re ready and, like the great salespeople we are, we will do all we can to close the deal. Just give us the word and we can do anything from developing a capture strategy to helping expedite the process of the background check or any other required pre-employment screening. You will get your top candidate in the shortest amount of time possible, and the candidate will be in their desired position in a timely and efficient manner.
  12. Be sure all of your employees are aware of our employee referral program. Employee referral programs save agency fees, which will, in turn, save your company money. All referrals should be treated with respect and in a timely manner; they are an immense and valuable source for top-shelf candidates. Who better to judge the fit of a candidate for an organization than one of its current employees?

As recruiters, we believe that the best way to get maximum value out of your recruiting team is to understand the following three things:

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  • The way we work
  • Why we work that way
  • How we can support each other to effectively make great hires and build a great organization

With these points in mind, consider using this document as a broad-based template to build a bridge of understanding between the recruiting team and hiring managers. The better we all understand each other’s needs and requirements, the more effective we will be in getting the job done with the least amount of pain and misunderstanding.

Effie Magas (emaga@allstate.com) is a national recruiter at Allstate Insurance, where her focus is on recruiting sales and finance executives. Her career got started over five years ago as a third-party IT recruiter, but in the last few years she has become a key player in the corporate recruiting world, at Fortune 100 companies like Andersen and Allstate. In addition to recruiting, Effie is an active volunteer for Junior Achievement, where she helps seventh-grade students explore career options, learn job-hunting skills, and discover the value of a good education. She holds a B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in HR management, from Loyola University in Chicago. See Howard Adamsky’s bio below.

Howard Adamsky has been recruiting since 1985 and is still alive to talk about it. A consultant, writer, public speaker, and educator, he works with organizations to support their efforts to build great companies and coaches others on how to do the same. He has over 20 years' experience in identifying, developing, and implementing effective solutions for organizations struggling to recruit and retain top talent. An internationally published author, he is a regular contributor to ERE Media, a member of the Human Capital Institute's Small and Mid-Sized business panel, a Certified Internet Recruiter, and rides one of the largest production motorcycles ever built. His book, Hiring and Retaining Top IT Professionals/The Guide for Savvy Hiring Managers and Job Hunters Alike (Osborne McGraw-Hill) is in local bookstores and available online. He is also working on his second book, The 25 New Rules for Today's Recruiting Professional. See twitter.com/howardadamsky if you are so inclined for the occasional tweet. Email him at H.adamsky@comcast.net

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