Summer’s End and the Communication Gap
It has been a bit since my last entry here, but I have all the right reasons…..Vacation, work, fantasy football and “Honey-Do” lists….. and vacation. Seeing as I need to use up some vacation time and day care was closed for a week, it was the perfect time to squeeze in some of those last minute, end of summer jaunts (Like a relaxing few days at the beach with the family and the Vegas trip with the boys). That, coinciding with the perpetually anticipated return of fantasy football, made for a few hectic weeks when you factor in work and the long awaited finishing of our basement. (My wife thanks for you bearing with my lack of updates while I finished this project) 🙂
But I digress, as its high time I got back to writing about what goes on in our industry. After a few conversations with colleagues the last two or three weeks, something kept coming up repeatedly: Why do hiring managers have such a hard time partnering with recruiting teams. Most of the people these conversations came up with are on the corporate recruiting side, so I’m going to focus there. (Sorry TPR’s, we can always come back to the topic of your end of the desk later, there’s no shortage of topic there). Based on those conversations, here’s what I can gather is seen out there, with also some of my own opinion and experience thrown in.
One of the main gripes that corporate recruiters have typically is that they are not seen as true hiring partners, but yet, more as “order takers” and administrative necessities. Recruiters see themselves as hunters, the seeker and finder of all skill sets hidden, providing an invaluable service in a specialized field, just as a statistician, or business development manager might. They feel like they have to pull teeth in order to get the information they need, and have to spend more time clarifying and re-clarifying information, and subsequently rejecting candidates they felt were on target. All this takes time away from sourcing and sending over “home run” candidates
On the other side of the coin, hiring managers tend to see them as a part of the machine that needs to be paid the minimal attention to, in order to get the job filled. They feel that their job is to find as many resumes as quickly as possible (which shouldn’t be hard, it’s a recession, right?), and to make sure each candidate has 110% of their wish list.
So where is the breakdown? As with all things, the truth resides somewhere in the middle. In this case, we’re going to name our friend truth, and call him “Communication”. Communication between the hiring managers and the recruiters really needs to be first and foremost, or neither side is going to get what they need/want. Here’s a couple of things each party should be asking themselves each time a new role is being opened.
• What is the position, how does it fit into the organization, and what is the project(s) that the candidate will be working on? If they can’t understand the work being done, they can’t sell the opportunity to the candidate
• What technology is most important, and do they understand what each of these “gotta have” technologies do, at least at a surface level? If not, then it’s just keyword recruiting, and that never ends well for anyone.
• What is the budget and career progression track for the candidate/employee? Again, you should be selling the opportunity, and the career opportunities, or it doesn’t ring as a truly GREAT opportunity for someone. Plus, you want to know how flexible the budget is – can you stretch 5k for the ‘perfect’ candidate, or is it a hard budget? Save yourself time by having the hard money discussions with the manager up front.
• Ask the manager to describe the role, and “sell” YOU on the role. You’ll get some good feedback into what the role is in their eyes, and how excited they can get when they talk to a candidate. Make sure to tap into their “Love to have’s” and the soft things that drive them crazy about a candidate, so you can make sure that it all matches up later – some managers like all candidates to wear a suit, they want a degree, they want people who have not been lifetime contractors, etc.
• Did I set parameters for feedback, timelines, and overall interview process? DO you know the next steps and the contingencies in the absence of the manager? Time kills all deals, know where to turn when the manager is out.
If you can take that information and walk away knowing what you need, you will likely be successful in your hiring ventures.
• Have you been open and honest with your recruiter and given them the information needed to succeed? Have you divulged what the projects are, both in the immediate and long term?
• Does the recruiter have a good idea of what success for this person looks like at 30,60,90 days and beyond? Have you discussed with the recruiter what career path this person could take?
• Did you discuss with the recruiter the skills that are needed for this role, and frame those around why they are important and what additional skills can be taught or built up.
• Do you have an approved salary for this role? Nothing can be more frustrating than a manager who “assumes” they will get the budget. Recruiting is a COD business, no IOU’s here.
• Did you set parameters with the recruiter for feedback, etc.? This is a two way street.
If you can find a way to bridge the gap with your manager or recruiter, you’ll both be more successful in the long term. The open, honest dialogue from both sides really is the key for making it work for you and ultimately your company. Process without communication with just guesswork.
How have you rectified the communication gap in your organization?
Coming next, the ever-popular sport of College Recruiting!