A Open Letter To Hiring Managers
Five Tips to Help Hire Better People
Dear Hiring Manager:
You probably only hire a handful of people each year, and your recruiter usually does a reasonable job of finding qualified candidates for you. Sure, sometimes you get frustrated because she can’t seem to find suitable candidates or find them soon enough, but eventually, you find the right person to hire.
But let me ask you a few questions that will help your recruiter do an even better job.
How well do you define a “decent” candidate or “best” one? Do you have some specific criteria that you use? Do you have any benchmarks or standards to compare? How much time do you spend with the recruiter figuring out the right job requirements and laying out the things the person you want to hire will have to do to succeed?
In my many years as a recruiter and consultant, I find this is the area most frequently skipped. Most hiring managers I work with use traditional requirements without considering whether they are the right ones or the best ones. They are willing to spend time interviewing and often demand that candidates go through numerous interviews. Still, they are less inclined to give the recruiter time to discuss the position before any recruiting happens.
Here are five things you can do to help you and your recruiter find better candidates and make faster hires. I warn you that you may rethink certain positions and maybe even discover that some of your employees are a lot better than or not as capable as you thought.
Tip #1: Nail down the skills and competencies of your best performers.
Are the requirements you look for valid? Do they sync with your best performer’s backgrounds and skills? Spend some time thinking about your best performers. Who are the people in your department you would like to clone if you could? Try to put into words why you think they are so good. Ask yourself: What do they regularly do that is critical to your success? What is the most important trait/behavior/skill that makes them successful? When did an employee do something you found exceptional or notable? Share this with your recruiter.
Tip #2: Get to know your recruiter.
If your recruiter is new or has not yet worked with you, it will be impossible for her to know what you are looking for. And even an experienced recruiter who knows your specialty thoroughly will have to understand those subtle traits that you find compelling. Chat with the recruiter about the answers to the questions above. Have them attend staff meetings and encourage them to talk to your best performers. The better you and the recruiter know each other and your needs, the more likely you are to see better candidates.
Tip #3: Develop a Better assessment process.
One of the best ways to make sure that you and your recruiters are in sync on what kinds of people to look for is to put together an unbiased screening process for assessing candidates. This could be a skills or an aptitude test. And limit the number of interviews because candidates are less and less likely to repond well to numerous, time consuming interviews. One one well designed structured interview should be adequate.
Tip #4: Develop metrics
Dovetailing with this, establish some core measures of success. There are all sorts of possible things you can measure, but the ones that are the most important are those that relate to the output and quality of the work of your best employees. Work with your recruiter to decide what to measure - maybe how quickly a new employee hits the productivity level you want or how well they became a part of your team.
Tip #5: Learn about what’s happening in the talent marketplace.
Do you know what the supply is for the kind of people you are looking for? Most of us don’t have that kind of information handy, yet supply and demand are what make it easy or hard to find the right people. Assuming you have a good one, your recruiter should be able to help you get the data you need. The more you and your recruiter can learn about the talent marketplace, the better able you will be to know when you’ve found a good candidate and what they should get for an offer,
By taking just a few minutes from your busy day and working with your recruiter as a partner, you can improve the quality of candidates and the speed at which you fill your open positions.
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