Learn How To Recruit Smarter, Not Harder

by Steve Yakesh

Recruiting is an interesting job, and can be very difficult if you’re flying blind. It’s incredibly important to know what’s going on inside the minds of both your candidate, and your hiring manager.

Here are three things every recruiter should find out when working with a hiring manager:

1. What is the hiring manager’s vision for this position? 

There are generally two types of roles – roles that are expected to elevate, reach for the sky, and be strategic, big-picture thinkers; and roles that are expected to dive deep, buckle down, and get the details of execution done. Naturally, most roles require both of these elements to be successful, but some roles will focus more on one than the other. It’s important to identify what the hiring manager is looking for and expecting (whether you find out or not), and then recruit for top talent based on that understanding.

2. Is this role a new role, or is it a replacement? 

If it’s a new role, it’s likely that the hiring manager has a pretty good idea of what they need, but they may not have every detail ironed out yet. How much admin responsibilities will be a part of this person’s role, how closely will they work with members of other teams, etc.? Discuss this in detail to help paint a clearer picture of their company’s needs.

If the role is a replacement, it’s important to know if the previous person was a good fit, or a poor one. If they were a good fit, and left because there was another opportunity for them elsewhere, it’s likely the hiring manager will want someone similar to their last employee. If this is the case, make sure to get to the bottom of why the initial employee left in the first place. Was it because of a poor culture, not enough pay, too many long hours? Or was it simply because their career goals no longer lined up with that role and company? Regardless, you’ll want to screen your new candidates with that information in mind.

On the other hand, if the role was replacing someone who was a poor fit, you’ll want to learn more about what made them a poor fit. And then, of course, you’ll want to avoid those characteristics and shortcomings when searching for and presenting new candidates.

Regardless of the situation, don’t settle for a hire that can just replace the former employee. Always search to find talent that can take the role to another level.  Take the opportunity to find the very best.

3. Does the hiring manager have people already in process? 

Recruiters work on searches for multiple clients at once – or at least for multiple roles at one. It’s important to prioritize efforts. If, for example, you are the only one working on the search, and it’s an urgent need, you’ll want to focus a great deal of your time and attention to it.

If, on the other hand, you learn that the hiring manager is already considering multiple internal candidates, and/or is working with multiple other recruiters on the role, you’ll want to gauge your priorities with other roles on your plate.  Every client’s needs are important, but you need to be realistic about how your time can best help them.

In the end, as long as you understand the hiring manager’s vision for the position, where the position came from in the first place, and to what extent your services will be helpful, you will be able to address your client’s needs in an effective and efficient (and smarter) manner. And what’s best is that it will help both you and your hiring manager be successful!

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