Someone outside of the recruiting industry likely thinks the job is simply sifting through a stack of resumes submitted online. They may think it’s an easy career choice - how hard can it be to find a qualified candidate when they come to you?
Professional recruiters know that it is very, very rarely that simple. Recruitment starts at writing an impactful job ad and doesn’t end until a new hire is sitting at their assigned desk on their assigned first day. Not to mention, there’s sourcing, screening, interviewing, and negotiating in the middle.
When you’re working with a hiring manager - whether as a client or in-house - it can be extremely difficult to get their feedback and attention because they are not recruiters, so they really don’t know what you do on a daily basis. They may think it’s a quick/simple process (so they have unrealistic expectations for you) or they take their sweet time to give you any feedback at all because they don’t understand that time is of the essence if they want a good candidate. So, it’s important to set their expectations from the start and explain your own process to them so everyone is on the same page. Then, once you’re in the thick of it, you will need to continuously guide the hiring manager through the process to keep them on track (they have a full-time job, too so your job is not their top priority).
When you have your initial sit-down with the hiring manager, use that time wisely. Get the general information you need to do a good job (ask what they are looking for in a candidate, qualifications, etc.) but also give them the information they need to help you do a good job. Go over your process from start to finish, with a realistic timeline so they know what to expect - you may even consider giving them a printout or email with the information. Let them know what you need from them through each step of the process and explain that you’ll be connecting with them on a regular basis to give and get updates.
If the hiring manager hasn’t already written a job description, you may need to help them out (and, even if they have written one, you may need to revise it a little...or a lot). During this process, help them write the most compelling ad to get candidates excited and interested in the role. You can even offer some tips to help them make it stand out, like adding a video of a current employee talking about a day in the life at the company, or, better yet, in the role itself. Discuss which qualifications are top priority so that the ad’s content is strategic and concise, not just a list of “must have’s”. Then, once the ad is posted, send the link to the hiring manager so that they can review and make any changes they feel are necessary.
Sourcing / Screening
If you’re recruiting for a niche role that requires a lot of sourcing, keep your hiring manager in the loop as you search (especially as these roles take a little more time to fill) - you can even ask them to share the job ad on their social media platforms to help spread the word, and maybe get a few more qualified candidates in the mix. Once the sourcing and resume review process is done, let your hiring manager know you’ll be screening candidates. You likely already know what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate but this is a good time to check in and make sure nothing has changed so that you can be effective in the talent you later present to them.
Ask the hiring manager for a list of qualifying questions they’d like for you to ask candidates. Once you have finished your initial screening, send those questions to the top 15-20 applicants (if you have that many) to help refine your final list even more. You can use DeepHire’s tool to do this part, which will allow you to get video recorded responses from the candidates that you can then send directly to the hiring manager to review (and the tool lets you monitor whether or not the hiring manager has viewed the videos, which will mean less follow up from you).
The interview phase is the part where your hiring manager will be most involved. Help them through this process by coaching them on effective interviewing. If they don’t already have a list of questions they want to ask, help them develop some. Stress the importance of staying on time, not rescheduling, and providing feedback to the candidate in a timely manner. If you want to get their feedback quickly, block out time after each interview (or at least at the end of a day of interviews) to meet with them and discuss the candidate - this will keep the candidate fresh in their mind which will give you a clear idea of how your candidate performed (and you won’t have to wait around for an email with feedback).
Let your hiring manager know that just because the interviews are done, it doesn’t mean the job is done. They need to work with you closely at this point to determine the best fit for the job, and then the two of you have to work together on developing an offer. You’ll need to work together to determine a fair salary offer based on qualifications, experience, and expectations of them as an employee. You’ll also need to agree upon a target start-date. A lot of what goes into the final offer is dictated by the hiring manager, but you know your candidate best so this is the time you’ll need to advocate for them a little bit. Your alliance has to be well-balanced between your client and your candidate, but be sure to explain this to the hiring manager so that they know any push-back from you is coming from a strategic position - not to just be difficult as you near the finish line.
Negotiating & Closing the Deal
Most candidates will come back with a counter-offer on some part of the job offer. They will try to negotiate on benefits, salary, or day-to-day schedule. These are all things that obviously have to go through the hiring manager to be approved. If there is no wiggle room, and the candidate is on the fence, work with the hiring manager to find a way to make it work for everyone. You may even ask your hiring manager to give the candidate a call to help close the deal by reassuring them their flex-schedule will be honored or talk about the unofficial days off they offer their employees that just aren’t written on paper. There are a lot of ways your hiring manager can close this deal, they may just need help from you on learning how
Whether you have a seasoned hiring manager or one that is brand new to the game, you will still have to help them through the recruitment process. If you’re lucky, the process will be smooth and seamless but, that is the exception, not the rule, so you need to have a process in place for your hiring manager that breaks down the large-scale recruitment/hiring process. By keeping everyone on the same page, you’ll have a much higher chance of securing the best possible candidate.
If you’re interested in learning more about how DeepHire can help you manage the recruitment process (and your hiring manager), check out our website or send me an email at Russell@deephire.com - I'd love to chat with you!