4 Steps for Successfully Working with Recruiters
Partner Content by Cory Estes:
In my career I have had many opportunities to work with HR professionals and recruiters as a hiring manager for over 100 engineering hires. Many times, we have been successful at hiring the right people, and many times we have learned what we should have done differently. Here is what I have learned to make the hiring process successful in partnership with the recruiter. Successfully working with recruiter can be broken down into four simple steps.
STEP 1: The hiring manager answers 3 (not so) simple questions.
The first step is one of the most important steps in the hiring process and should happen before the requisition form is filled out. This step is where the hiring manager lays out organizations vision for the new employee by answering three questions:
1) What is the work that needs to be done?
2) How will the new hire help with that work?
3) What resources (tools, training, SW, etc.) is the company willing to supply for the new hire to succeed at the intended work?
The questions allow the hiring manager to articulate what success in hiring will look like. Success is more likely to be achieved if the hiring manager will consider that there are a lot of combinations of people and tools that can successfully get most jobs done. Hiring managers tend to focus too much on narrow or specific qualifications which makes finding the right person difficult. Identifying ranges for success greatly enhances opportunities to succeed. When the hiring manager takes their part in defining success seriously, everyone else in this process is better equipped to succeed.
STEP 2: Make sure that the Job Title and Job Description communicate what was found in STEP 1.
These two documents will be used by everyone in the process as the reference point for success. They should clearly communicate the expectations of the hiring manager, and help the recruiter and candidates understand what success in this position will look like.
STEP 3: Establish a relationship with the recruiter, share the vision and let them screen.
Just as with any other team member, it is important that the hiring manager gets to know the recruiter. The recruiter will be standing in for the hiring manager during candidate screening, answering questions and giving information about the company and the candidates first impressions of the workplace environment will come from the recruiter. The recruiter needs to be genuine about recommending the workplace to potential candidates, and they will only be able to do this because they had the same experience with the hiring manager.
If it has been a while, take time to catch up with them personally. In person meetings are always preferable for effective communication, but phone calls can be just as good if not too much time has passed.
After re-establishing the relationship with the recruiter, it is important to share the overall vision for the position. Allow ample time for this discussion and be prepared for a lot of questions. Questions will show that the recruiter is really trying to understand what the hiring manager needs for the person that will be hired. Having a common perspective for the position with the recruiter allows them to act in your place for the most important part of the process, the screening.
Screening is where the best recruiters shine. Screening candidates is time consuming and sometimes feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately for the hiring manager a good recruiting team thrives in knowing their current people and making connections with or finding new people, matching what the organization needs to what job seekers are looking for to find the match.
STEP 4: Provide feedback to the recruiter about candidates.
The last step is providing feedback to the recruiter on the candidates you have met with. Feedback is essential for success. The recruiter will do their best to provide quality candidates for the position and the hiring manager needs to tell them how close they got. After every phone screen I did in my last role, I would take time to jot down notes and impressions of the interview and send them to the recruiter. I would include good and bad impressions, fit and non-fit items, and personal impressions. I would take time to write it as an email, so that we could both have record for future reference. This feedback allows the recruiter to see / learn more about the people they are recommending, and I get to help the recruiter see how close they got to my request.
Following these four steps has greatly increased my success as a hiring manager. These steps helped me create trust and understanding with the recruiter (internal or external) and allowed for genuine referrals and opportunities to come to the company, while greatly expanded my reach into the candidate market. In the end, my relationship with my recruiters was something that I greatly valued and I found that we could work well together to meet the needs of the company.