Baseball may be “on hold” until at least July, but that doesn’t have to stop you from tracking important stats—ones that reflect your staffing vendors’ performance.
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Do you remember getting assigned to group projects in high school? If you were lucky, you’d get to work with a few of your favorite classmates and everything would go smoothly. Once in a while, though, you’d end up getting stuck on a team where either one person didn’t pull their weight, or the group as a whole just didn’t seem to mesh. By the end of it, everyone would be so exasperated that nobody cared about turning in subpar work and barely scraping by with a C-. Unfortunately, this situation occurs in adult working life, too, and in the staffing industry, it happens all the time. So today, we’ll be doing everyone’s favorite team-building exercise. That’s right; it’s time for some virtual trust falls.
Teamwork is the central, turning wheel of the staffing world. From the very first contact with a candidate to the onboarding process, there’s a lot of shared responsibility going on behind the scenes. Communication is key. If, for example, a hiring manager writes a vague job description, it might pull in too many candidates and prolong the time it takes for a recruiter to fill the position. On the other side, if a recruiter doesn’t provide enough information about a candidate, the hiring manager might see it as a low-quality submission, and thus be inclined to pass over the recruiter during the next go around.
Hiring managers and recruiters, in particular, tend to have a strained relationship. In fact, according to a study by the Corporate Executive Board, 65% of hiring managers are unsatisfied with how their recruiters affect business. Only a mere 25% of hiring managers base their hiring decision on recruiter advice. But here’s the crazy thing – they both have the same goals! A trusting, communicative relationship between both parties would lead to better hires, faster hires, and more money for everyone. Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to build said relationship; hiring managers and recruiters can boost one another’s performance, just by making a few individual improvements. But just like with trust falls, you’ll need to believe in your partner’s ability to do his or her job.
Hiring managers: we know you’re swamped with work. You have a lot on your plate, and sometimes you just don’t have the extra time to spend on following each stage in the recruitment process. You need to be able to rely on your recruiters to source top-quality candidates and help them move along the pipeline. You have high expectations of your recruiters, but those expectations aren’t always met. Let’s work on fixing that.
Set achievable goals. Some roles are just going to be a lot harder to fill than others, which means the sourcing process is going to take longer. Tough roles are frustrating on all accounts! One major complaint we hear from recruiters is that they don’t get enough information about positions. That’s when you end up with unqualified or inappropriate candidates – and that’s where the blame game begins. Instead, why not think about how you can best help recruiters help themselves? This might mean taking the time to craft a pinpoint job description, asking recruiters what they think would help improve fill times, and working together to come up with realistic deadlines.
Make it a point to give your recruiters feedback regularly. Communication is critical to any successful team. If a recruiter reaches out to you for advice, take a few minutes out of your day to respond. Work on building a relationship with your recruiters. Picture it like cooks in a restaurant: they get the food to the window quickly because they flow together, constantly communicating at each step. (Just go to a busy diner and sit near the kitchen if you don’t believe me). If you invest time in establishing that flow now, it’ll pay off in the form of better hires down the road.
Understand that the job market has changed, and recruiters might know more about it than you. Ask any recruiter, and they’ll tell you that finding top talent isn’t as easy as it used to be. Millennials make up a large portion of the market now, and they have very different expectations when it comes to company culture, flexibility, and growth potential. This paradigm shift affects all segments of the pipeline, including how recruiters source candidates – and how you interview them. Recruiters know what motivates candidates because they work right on the front lines every day, so it might behoove you to consider their advice, whether it be on interviewing tactics, job descriptions, deadlines, or something else. Remember: your goal as a team is to improve the candidate experience and fill the position.
Recruiters: you need to hold up your end of the bargain here, too. After all, this is a team-building exercise. We get it. You’re flustered because you’re expected to fill tough positions within (extremely) tight time frames. You want to give hiring managers the best candidates possible, but often it seems like you’re set up to fail. It doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s take a look at some recruiter best practices.
Just as hiring managers need to be more communicative with you, you need to be more communicative with them. We mentioned earlier that recruiters often complain that they don’t get enough information from their hiring managers. Guess what – hiring managers complain about the same thing! This is a good thing because it indicates that both sides are craving a better relationship with one another. You can learn a lot from each other, so reach out for advice when you need it. Ask for feedback not just before and after placing a candidate, but throughout the various hiring stages. Similarly, offer up as much info about your candidate as possible, which will help hiring managers immensely.
Don’t be afraid to ask for clearer job requirements. Job descriptions that cast too broad or too deep of a net both have the same effect: they lead to low-quality candidates and long placement times. You, as a recruiter, have the innate ability to spot these types of descriptions immediately. So instead of toiling over the inevitable, try letting your manager know the requirements need tweaking. Ask them what a high-quality candidate looks like in their eyes. Is it someone whose resume ticks every box, or is it someone who is driven and interviews well? Together, you can refine the list of must-haves and nice-to-haves so that everyone wins.
Get to know your candidates better. Another chief complaint amongst hiring managers is that recruiters don’t properly vet their candidates. Part of this is due to time constraints, and part of it is due to a lack of recruiter engagement. Recruiters who take a spray and pray approach give everyone else in the biz a bad name. Your focus should be on quality over quantity. Take a little extra time and get to know your candidates: their interests, their goals, and who they are as people. Your pool might end up being a bit smaller, but you’ll have a much better idea of who your candidates are and where you can place them. And for that, the hiring managers will thank you.
So, there you have it; advice to make you feel like you’re back in your high school guidance counselor’s office again. But seriously, if hiring managers and recruiters can start looking at one another as a team instead of an inconvenience, they can achieve greatness. Together, you can improve submission quality, placement times, and candidate experience – which means you’ll both be a lot happier with your work.