What Hiring Managers Need to Know About Working with Recruiters

by Heidi Starck

In my role as an executive finance and accounting recruiter I partner directly with hiring managers when engaging on a search. Recently, however, I encountered an exception to that rule and met with an internal recruiter at a new client to discuss roles they’d be adding in the year ahead.

During our conversation, this corporate recruiter and I discussed the “sizzle” of a role (the thing that makes an opportunity or a company culture compelling to a candidate). The recruiter mentioned that the hiring manager for the roles she was working on came into her office daily to discuss recruiting progress.

That may sound unnecessary to some recruiters and hiring managers, but this level of engagement actually contributes greatly to the “sizzle” of these roles, especially when dealing with passive candidates. For one, when a hiring manager makes time regularly to discuss prospective candidates and give detailed feedback, recruiters can tailor their recruiting strategy and submit candidates that have the hard and soft skills required to be successful.

Secondly, this engagement allows recruiters to speak to the hiring manager’s management style and the benefits of working on their team. Candidates are unlikely to continue the interview process without knowing who will manage them. If recruiters can’t speak to a person’s managing style on an initial recruiting call, they will lose out on top talent.

Candidates join companies to work for great managers and managers need to be engaged in the process in order to make a top hire and create synergy with their existing team. Why put hiring decisions in the hands of anyone else?

In addition to boosting engagement and defining a role’s “sizzle,” here are a few tips you can use to make finding the right talent much easier.

 

1. Write a clear job description

The job description might be a candidate’s first exposure to the position. If it’s compelling, concise, and comprehensive, you are that much more likely to attract high-performance candidates to put their hat in the ring.

And remember, for entry- to mid-level roles, be more flexible on the job description and consider hiring based on attitude, not just upfront, hard skills. Skills can be taught, attitude is forever.

 

2. Develop a compelling story

Talk to your recruiter and create a narrative. You should know how to sell your company and department when you’re interviewing candidates.

 

3. Develop your hiring process

Plan out what your hiring process looks like – think ahead and eliminate steps that add unnecessary time. Two simple ways to avoid delays in the hiring process are:

  • Request references from your recruiter after the second interview round. This can help set you up to make a quicker decision down the line.
  • Partner with your internal HR department and communicate all requirements to your recruiter before extending and offer. This will help your recruiter expedite the hiring process.

 

4. Refine your interview process

While process is important, being flexible with the interview process can make hiring a lot smoother. Be willing to interview candidates after hours – especially if it’s budget season or month-end close.

Another way to ensure you hire top talent is to bring your team into the hiring and interviewing process. This practice allows the candidate to get a 360 degree view of the department, while also allowing you to see how they’ll fit in your organization. On top of all that, your employees will feel empowered, which will speak to the level of collaboration in the department.

 

5. Keep it speedy

As you search for the next member of your team, remember, speed to hire is a requirement for acquiring top talent. Prompt and detailed feedback on both candidate resumes and interviews is paramount.

To achieve the necessary speed, remember, there is no “perfect” candidate. If you meet someone that matches your company culture and the position’s required skillset, move them forward in the process. It’s proven that slow hiring decisions don’t improve the quality of those you hire.

 

In today’s candidate-driven market, working with a recruiter can be your greatest asset in tracking down the best of the best to join your team. Use these tips to get your search off to a great start and contact us today for more information on attracting top talent.

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