Roadblock #5: Hiring Managers Rely Solely on Recruiting to Find Candidates

birdsOur 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.

Ouch – this one is a major hiring manager roadblock. Too often, hiring managers forget that effective recruiting only works when everyone is involved in recruiting, especially them.

If you’re running into this problem, you may have heard hiring managers say things like, “I only want to interview people who are late-stage” or “Why do I need to ask my team for referrals; isn’t that your job?” Finally, this zinger: ”If I were supposed to hire people, you wouldn’t be here.”

A few solutions...

Set Limits & Expectations Upfront

Don’t be afraid to push back when you need to. Tell your hiring manager what you can’t do. If you have 5 open reqs that you are running right now, you will not be able to screen 10 candidates a day for this new role. If you aren’t comfortable with screening engineers for technical skills, tell your Head of Engineering.

Recruiting is a reciprocal process. Ultimately, the person I am recruiting won’t report to me; they’ll report to the hiring manager. Simply put, he or she must be involved throughout the process in order for both of us to be successful. Set clear expectations upfront. 

Delegate Prospecting

Recruiting should support employee involvement in the sourcing phase of recruiting. Delegate a number of outbound prospecting emails, InMails, or messages, to the hiring team. But first, boost morale and be more effective by setting its members up for success!

Candidates may be more likely to respond to a message from the hiring manager or a peer than a recruiter. No matter what, the more people you have participating, the more likely you’ll get some responses. You’re also able to take the time to write highly personalized messages. Start by crafting outreach messages for your hiring team in order to reduce the effort upfront and share best practices. To get buy-in, start by showing proof that personalization works.

You can share this post from Aline Lerner, “What I learned from reading 8,000 recruiting messages." Aline teamed up with our partner Hired to analyze this sample size of recruiting messages to determine (among other things) how the sender and the level of personalization influence introduction rates. The good news for you is the bad news for talent: most messages are super impersonal, and tend to lack enthusiasm. Stand out among competition by creating a template for your hiring team that shares the exciting(!) projects that they’re working on, then encourage them to tailor the rest of the message to each candidate.

Then, have each member of the team use unique tracking links in order to collect data. Whose efforts are the most impactful? Where are they sending their messages? You can analyze that person’s approach and messaging and share insights with the wider organization. Tracking links also makes it easy to gamify the process by making it clear who is contributing. Couple these with source quality reports in order to reward people whose prospects get far along in the process, rather than those who simply submit an application (and end up unqualified).

Build a Referral Program

The best way for employees to source candidates is by tapping into their own networks. Your highest quality candidates will come from employee referral programs.

Challenge your hiring manager to get one referral from each member of the hiring team. Again, share meaningful data around the benefits of investing time and resources into sourcing referrals. For example, hiring managers will be interested to know that employee referrals show high retention rates, engagement, and performance, compared to hires from other sources. Therefore, having the team spend one hour per week submitting referrals can pay dividends long-term.

Once again, be proactive to set up employees for success. Many members of the team likely don’t know who’s in their networks, or how to search for them. Host trainings on how to use LinkedIn’s advanced search filters and Boolean strings. Finally, make it easy to submit referrals.

Tough Love

This isn’t the first time I have mentioned the power of tough love in overcoming hiring manager obstacles.  If your hiring managers aren’t participating in the recruiting process for their roles, shut down the reqs and work with your hiring managers who are more responsive. Just make sure to give your unresponsive hiring manager enough warning so he has time to modify the behavior.

Get the full recording of the "10 Hiring Manager Roadblocks" webinar below!

10 Hiring Manager Roadblocks

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Recruiter Tips