How many of us receive a requisition for an open position, immediately go to the hiring manager to talk it over, then start recruiting off of it? Are you guilty of taking your requisitions at face value? Have you lost good candidates when your hiring manager was too slow to respond? Have you ever had a hiring manager upset with you because you didn’t get them enough candidates? I think most all recruiters have experienced these experiences at one time or another. I like to use the “emergency room” analogy when I think of requisitions. Consider the requisition like a patient entering into the emergency room, and you the ER doctor having to juggle a million priorities and make the correct assessments. Here are some sure fire ways to help become a PhD at taking a great requisition:
- Check For a Pulse. That’s right, try to assess, before even speaking with the hiring manager, how realistic the position is to fill. You can do this quickly by going onto your favorite resume database (the largest one you have access to) and entering in some narrow, then broad, search strings to determine whether these people exist and then whether they will be interested in your opportunity. It’s not enough to just find qualified candidates; you also need to look at their requested salary ranges and location preferences. If you are finding next to nothing, this means the pulse is weak and you need to revive the requisition by working with the hiring manager to open up the specifications. Never take the requisition at face value, there is always room to bend when you use the “what if…” statement interview. Using your research, determine which candidates come close and use the “what if…” statements to make those “B” candidates turn into “A” candidates. If the requisition requires a bachelor’s degree, ask, “What if I find someone with the experience as well as from a direct competitor without a degree, do you still want to see them?” Ask these questions on every single specification to make sure you are not ruling out potential candidates (remedies).
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How mature is your hiring process? Answer these 5 questions and find out.
- Check For Urgency. In the ER, patients are quickly diagnosed to determine the order of priority of which they should be received. Most of the time doctors don’t have the luxury to assist anyone and everyone immediately, and frankly neither do you. As recruiters, we work overtime to please everyone, but the reality is if you have more than 15 requisitions at any one time you need to prioritize because there’s not enough of you to go around. You can quickly assess the urgency of the requisition by setting clear expectations and performing a simple diagnosis. First off, let the hiring manager know what they can expect from you as the Recruiter in filling their order. Secondly, let them know what is expected from them in supporting your goals of filling the position. Give them specific time frames, as well as make sure they have a clear schedule so you both can make some quick decisions when a star candidate comes along. Remember the search you performed earlier to determine the pulse? You can perform a quick diagnosis of hiring manager urgency by sending those resumes to the hiring manager for feedback and testing their response time. An urgent hiring manager should respond fairly quickly, whereas a not so urgent manager may sit on them for a while.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Break the Bad News. Once you’ve made the pulse diagnosis, opened up the requisition, and are working with an urgent hiring manager, you can then move forward into action. Your recruitment process should only take a few days before you have a very definite remedy or “bad news.” Don’t procrastinate on the bad news; your patient/hiring manager needs to know everything. If candidates are telling you the salary is too low, let the hiring manager know. If candidates are telling you the department/company has a bad reputation, let the hiring manager know. By giving the hiring manager both good and bad feedback all along the way, you are keeping them in the loop and building a trust and rapport which will later help to create a correct expectation about the level difficulty in filling each position.
Your time and energy is valuable. By understanding the requisition as well as prioritizing it’s urgency level you will have a direct impact on the company bottom line by filling positions within days vs. weeks.