Tag Archives: Hiring Managers

Is your recruiting function nearing extinction?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein

In one of my previous corporate recruiting roles, I had the above quote from Albert Einstein pinned above my desk. For me, the quote signified two things in recruiting. One, I believed that it depicted the flawed mindset of many hiring managers and recruiters who had a key role to play in the recruitment process. Second, I saw it as a stark reminder that we absolutely cannot treat the recruiting function as static.

Sadly, the perception of the hiring manager community of an in — house recruiting function is that it should deliver the same over and over again with the same methodologies and techniques that were used previously. Recruiters then fall into this trap and then end up on the wrong side of this and are blamed for failures in the hiring process. What you then get is a perpetual cycle of finger-pointing, mud — slinging and blame. It doesn’t help either party and just creates stress and animosity. In my view, this arises because of the ineffective structure of the recruitment function and the relationship between the recruitment function and the hiring manager community that has developed over time. The recruitment function has allowed itself to become subservient and this has resulted in a master/servant relationship which in turn has created not recruitment but an administrative function — taking orders rather than spearheading the hiring efforts. At its best, a recruitment function should be the engine room for talent.

With the proliferation in the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning in recruiting in the years ahead, companies with recruiting functions that find themselves stuck in this master/servant relationship run the risk of becoming defunct. Below are ten risks that are setting your recruitment function back:

Forecasting

Your recruitment function isn’t aligned with the line business (hiring managers). You are taking orders and instructions rather than providing consultative support to the business. You work reactively rather than proactively. There is no forecasting of talent requirements which means you can’t build talent pipelines and your recruitment team is always starting a search on the back foot. A modern recruitment function works collaboratively with the line business to forecast recruitment requirements so they can plan ahead of demand.

Skill sets

Your current recruiting team does not have the right skills to perform their tasks effectively. You aren’t investing in the right people. On a broader level, the structure of your recruitment department is inadequate to meet the needs of your internal stakeholders. The role of recruitment is changing so what you do internally must reflect that. The modern-day recruiter needs to be a trusted talent advisor to the business. If your recruitment team isn’t performing this role, then they’re just taking orders.

Time-consuming tasks

If your recruitment function is performing 70% of their recruitment tasks manually then they aren’t adding any real value to the business. Typical tasks include scheduling and rescheduling of interviews, sending interview reminders, booking interview rooms, capturing candidate documentation. A significant negative impact of having a manual system is that inevitably team members will suffer from burnout. Imagine running several recruitment campaigns concurrently, and then contacting all the shortlisted candidates for interview, booking rooms, etc. This is just unsustainable and is not the correct use of resources. I have personally been on the receiving end of this and can tell you that this is an extremely uncomfortable and stressful situation to be in. To be that trusted talent advisor, you need to automate the mundane tasks so your team can focus on delivering value.

Policies & Procedures

You need to be resolutely stubborn to enforce your recruitment policies and procedures to the letter. If you are constantly bowing to the pressures from hiring managers to bend the rules, you will never change the master/servant relationship. Your mantra, if you want to work collaboratively and effectively with the hiring manager community, should be, “our house, our rules.”

The above four are just baseline elements I believe that need to be addressed if you want to move away from a master/servant recruitment function to a collaborative and consultative one that delivers lasting value to the hiring manager community. The increasing uptake of artificial intelligence will put more pressure on recruitment functions to reform and restructure. Anything less than that will lead to a sure-fire path of extinction, and lead to the recruitment function being outsourced.

Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash

Candidate Experience – The Final Frontier of Effective Recruiting!

The increasing automated nature of corporate recruiting should improve the candidate experience but as numerous commentators in the human resources space have noted, the process is not great and more work needs to be done to make it better. There are many key players in the entire process but most importantly, it is the hiring managers that really drive everything as they ultimately make the hire. The essence of this fractured relationship between corporate recruiting and candidate experience is candidly summarised by a post by editor and consultant Deborah Branscum who remarks that “if hiring managers were doctors, half of new patients would be dead in 18 months.” This is a stark assessment considering we are in fiercely competitive labour market with companies fishing in the same talent pool as every other competitor. Here are some (not all) of the common pains of the candidate experience:

  • Despite ATS’s, candidates are still falling through cracks, and it is taking longer to fill positions
  • Despite the commonly held belief that candidates are flexible on location, they actually want to work somewhere that is within commuting distance of the office
  • Assumptions are made regarding a candidates salary expectations
  • Candidates are passed between pillar and post by different hiring managers – and that is just at the CV review stage!
  • Candidates are not being properly updated on their candidacy
  • Candidates aren’t interviewed in a timely manner
  • Candidates don’t get the feedback they are looking for – responses are not constructive but general
  • Candidate experience doesn’t rank highly on a hiring managers agenda, and is increasingly misunderstood altogether
  • The on boarding experience is falling by the wayside with an increasing number of candidates rejecting offers after they have accepted
  • The automated nature of recruiting results mostly in communication with the candidate via email
  • The employer brand is suffering

The reality is that as technology and trends have changed overtime, behaviours have not. Recruiting is evolving, so should behaviours and with that policies and procedures to reflect the changing nature of the labour market. To get it right, companies need to develop a service orientated mind-set rather than being transactional. Hiring Managers and other key players need to become brand ambassadors for their company and become totally invested in improving candidate experience as they are invested in their day jobs.

Be the Hiring Manager that sets an example

The role of the Hiring Manager is absolutely central to getting the entire process to work properly so the following improvements should be put in place for Hiring Managers:

Holiday handover – When going on holiday, put a handover plan together updating the rest of the team on candidates, delegating responsibility for interviews and offer approvals. Don’t put things on hold when you go on holiday. Recruiting is important business!

Don’t set false expectations – If a candidate was interviewed and you promised to get back to them with feedback within two weeks, do get back to them and don’t forget about them! Treat others as you would like to be treated. Failure to do so is a recipe for disaster, and you run the risk of bringing the employer brand into disrepute.

Interview feedback – When you do get back to the candidate with feedback, be constructive rather than general – give them the good, the bad and the ugly. Regardless if they are successful or not, candidates will really value your insight as it might help them improve their interview performance next time they go for an interview, or might even help them address a weakness that was not apparent to them before. If they are a good candidate for future roles, welcome them to reapply, and keep in touch with them.

Work in partnership – Keep your recruitment department fully updated on candidates in the interview process, work with them on resourcing needs, and be fully aligned with them so they can go to market to deliver the key marketing message(s) of why candidates should join your team.

Interview team – Have an interview tag team in place that can pick up the baton from you if you are going to be out of the office or tied up on a project. Delegate responsibility to them to continue the interview process in your absence, and have pre-agreed interview dates in the diary so that candidates can be interviewed without delay.

Get everybody on the same page – Make sure resourcing needs are filtered down to all levels. Avoid scenarios where conflicts between workload and resourcing needs occur. If you have a hire to make, ask yourself – is there physical desk space available for them, which office will they be based in, what work will they actually be doing, do you actually need to hire in the first place? Addressing these questions will eliminate inefficiency and help to increase speed of hire.

Time management – As Hiring Managers, you do have a day job but you also have responsibility to grow the team and contribute towards profitability so set aside ample time for reviewing candidate applications, providing feedback to candidate, conducting interviews etc.

Improved processes and procedures

A periodic review of the effectiveness of current recruiting processes and procedures will help highlight any deficiencies but to create a recruiting model fit for purpose, the following elements should be considered:

Return to traditional communication – To counter the behaviours triggered by ATS’s, less email more phone should be the order of the day. A personal touch goes a long way to improving the candidate experience.

Be social – An increasing number of candidates are on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook so a dedicated social media strategy is a must for companies if they want to properly engage with the talent pool and effectively deliver the EVP.  The employer brand will be rendered irrelevant if there is there is a lack of social media presence.

Careers site – Have a dedicated career site candidates can visit to obtain information on the interview process – i.e. what is involved and how long it takes, the work the company does, interactive employee testimonials, FAQs.  A careers site will also play an important part in communicating the EVP to the external market.

Recruitment model – As companies grow, resource needs will increase too, so a fundamental discussion around the recruitment model should take place – is the recruitment model geared up for a growing business, is it set up for volume recruiting, are there enough recruiters, do processes need to change to reflect growth? Honest discussions on the recruitment model will help create an effective in – house team.

Final thoughts

Despite improvements in technology and the rise of social media, companies still strive to create a positive candidate experience. Persistent issues exist which need to be addressed but the focus needs to be on being proactive and hiring at a faster pace. Companies simply can’t operate at an ordinary pace but need to react faster on candidates as competition for candidates intensifies. At the Hiring Manager level, more management training should be put in place to help clearly define their roles, responsibilities and their understanding of the interview and selection process. A negative experience will turn off candidates but a positive candidate experience will serve as a formidable recruiting sergeant.

Photo by Max McKinnon on Unsplash

Five trends that will shape talent acquisition in the years ahead

Recruiting is going to get increasingly social and mobile – with increased uptake of Smartphones and tablets, more and more candidates are going to be accessing job opportunities on the fly. This will potentially open up a new talent pool of passive job seeker.

Turnarounds are going to be the key: Hiring Managers will have to work double time to ensure that offers for potential candidates go out quickly as the escalating talent war will put pressure on hiring needs.

Quality corporate recruiters are going to be spread thin: As companies build their own dedicated in – house recruitment teams, they don’t just want individuals who are glorified salespeople but sourcing experts in their respective field who understand recruitment from a strategic perspective. According to the words of Josh Bersin, Principle and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte, “today’s recruiter must be a marketer, sales person, career coach and psychologist all in one.”

Economies rebound: As key economies such as the United States, China, India and the UK bounce back, a flood of job seekers can be expected to change jobs. This will really test the capabilities and resources of internal recruitment departments so your recruitment really needs to be geared up to deal with increased activity.

Branding: This was one of the key areas to really suffer in the global economic downturn. Companies were cutting back on advertising and fewer employees were leaving of their own accord. However, as economic fortunes improve globally, companies run the risk of being left behind and disappearing into the abyss. Resting on your laurels is not going to cut it so companies need to develop a view on employer branding.