Roadblock 1: Hiring Managers Don't Prioritize Recruiting

hiring_manager_raodblockOur Lead Recruiter, Caitlin Wilterdink, recently presented her strategies for overcoming common hiring manager roadblocks in a webinar with Glassdoor. In this weekly blog series, Caitlin breaks down these roadblocks with her tips and tricks for clearing these hurdles and building effective partnerships with hiring managers.

Many hiring managers say that hiring is a top priority but, at the end of the day, they either don’t know how to prioritize it or just flat out ignore it. This is understandable behavior, given that hiring managers have full time jobs that often leave little or zero time available to recruit. 

So how do we fix this? 

Tough Love

Don’t open the role until the hiring manager has done her part. At Greenhouse, we have formal kick-off meetings where the hiring manager and recruiter meet and run through a checklist that includes designing the candidate scorecard, writing out the interview plan, and drafting the job description. We don’t open a role until all of these action items are complete.

Here’s a look at our 5 key kick-off agenda goals:

1. Fill out Team & Responsibilities section in Greenhouse

2. Create candidate scorecard: For each KSA, ask why it is needed

3. Define the interview plan: Create stages and interviews and designate focus attributes; Identify default interviewers and ensure interviewers are trained or will receive training; Set follow-up to review interview kits at a future meeting

4. Create sourcing strategy: Where should we look for candidates? What companies have strong people in this area? What job boards target these roles? How many target candidates do we want from prospects and referrals?

5. Review sample candidates: Calibrate on what makes a “stellar” candidate

Set SLAs (Service-Level Agreements)

Set SLAs and, if they aren’t met, withhold candidates. I borrowed this idea from DevOps, but it is a common practice in sales and marketing alignment as well. SLA stands for Service-Level Agreement and, in a software contract, it specifies the quality of service or uptime you can expect from the provider.

One of the SLAs I set with hiring managers is around  candidate feedback: an interviewer scorecard must be completed and submitted within one day. The hiring manager not only needs to make sure he is submitting feedback within one day but also needs to ensure his team is submitting scorecards within one day.

If a hiring manager doesn’t meet this requirement of the SLA, he receives no more candidates.

Now a word of warning: turning off candidate flow can make your relationship with a hiring manager worse. You have to agree upfront about the requirements of your SLA and track them, so you can show the hiring manager why you are no longer providing candidates.

Set a Communication Cadence

During your kick-off meeting, have a discussion with your hiring manager around what communication platform and cadence he or she prefers. Then, stick to it. Some hiring managers prefer a weekly, 15-minute meeting to go over candidates. Others prefer weekly email updates. I have a few hiring managers that prefer text message updates. Either way, if communication with you is part of their regular rotation, they are not likely to ignore you. (Note: Don’t be afraid to be a squeaky wheel. Your work product depends on the decisions of others and you should never feel like you are bothering people when you need a decision!)

Use the Right Reports

Use hard data to show how important the hiring manager’s attention to the process is. Your applicant tracking system should make it very easy to pull reports that speak the language of your hiring managers. For example, be sure to track things like hiring speed and how long it takes for candidate to get an offer from your company. It’s also easy to see how many candidates you lose because you aren’t moving fast enough. Track this information and share it with the hiring team to drive improvements and buy-in.

Be a Squeaky Wheel

At my last company, I would pick up my laptop and sit at the desks of my hiring managers while they were away in meetings. This way, I was the first person they talked to when they got out of the meeting. Don’t be afraid to send multiple reminders either. Your work product depends on the decisions of others and you should never feel like you are bothering people when you need a decision.

Get the recording of the full webinar "10 Hiring Manager Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them" below!

10 Hiring Manager Roadblocks

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Recruiter Tips