Corporate Recruiter Success: Hiring Manager Management

Corporate Recruiter Success: Hiring Manager Management

Wow! It's almost been 10 months since my last blog entry. No excuses really but with several projects in recruiter training and recruitment change management, its been challenging to find time to write new articles. But here I am!

In the course of my projects during the last 10 months, one thing sticks out. Internal talent acquisition recruiters are not developing strong enough relationships with their stakeholders i.e.the HIRING MANAGER whom we all love to hate :)

In my one-on-one meetings with hiring managers, the same issues keep coming up.

(a) Internal recruiters don't understand the hiring manager's business.

(b) There is very little communication between the corporate recruiter and the hiring manager during the entire recruitment process.

(c) Hiring managers complain that corporate recruiters do not know how to sell to good candidates.

(d) Frustration among hiring managers that internal staffing executives lack the domain knowledge in areas like the availability of suitable candidate pools, competitor information, industry experience etc.

Below is a guide (not exhaustive) of what talent acquisition leaders can institute in how their internal recruiters can improve the stakeholder relationship.

Meeting Your Customer - Recruiters should participate in the hiring manager's weekly meeting he has with his own team. This gives the recruiter a better sense of issues that the department is facing. Being "embedded" in the department is much better than asking the hiring manager to give a 30-minute preso on the workings of the business. The weekly meeting is more rooted in reality and one can see the people dynamics at play.

Refine Your Recruitment Process - The recruitment process from headcount approval to on-boarding should develop into a rigorous flowchart as they do in manufacturing. After all, recruitment is similar to that of the supply chain management system that many firms are familiarly with. This way, recruiters will have a framework where they can deliver weekly progress reports for the hiring manager regarding his hires in areas such as number of candidates approached, competitor analysis, salary benchmarks, rejection rates, reasons for delays etc.

Market Your Organization - During an internal meeting with a major banking client of mine, the Recruitment Leader for Asia was exhorting her recruitment team to sell and market aggressively to candidates "with as much passion as you can!" There were blank stares from the recruiters. It dawn on me later that evening that it was because they didn't know how to do it given that most of them were HR generalists converted to internal recruiters. So began my multi-month project to instil in them the finer points of selling jobs in internal workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions. I think many firms face the same issues not only with their internal staffers but human resource executives who have to handle recruitment too. In this world where candidates have multiple job offers, the recruiter need to do a damn better job in being a salesperson.

Know Thy Industry -  If ever I were to return to the corporate space as a Head of Recruitment, I'll have KPIs in which my entire team would need to know who our competitors are and what they are up to, establish a list of candidates from our competitors and build relations with them. I'll get each recruiter to do a monthly or quarterly presentation on what's happening in our industry especially in their home country. Only then, can we add-value to hiring managers by telling them what's happening in the market that we operate. Ever wonder why hiring managers love working with specialist recruitment agencies? It's because of their domain expertise.

There are other challenges facing the corporate recruiters/hiring manager relationship. Hopefully, the above can serve as a starting point.

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Posted in: Talent Acquisition