By Rachel Weeks, Director of Marketing at HealthcareSource, the leading provider of talent management solutions for the healthcare industry. Rachel leads the team responsible for demand generation, corporate communications and marketing operations, and has extensive experience working with recruiters to build successful teams.
Hiring managers typically have an ideal profile for the positions they are looking to fill. Candidate has the necessary skills for the position – check. Their personality fits with the rest of the team – check. He or she can fill gaps that exist in other functions – check. I like this person and I can envision spending time with him or her every day – check.
But when it comes to translating these skills and qualities to a recruiter who will be sourcing candidates for the role, how a hiring manager communicates these requirements can be the difference between an efficient hiring process versus an unnecessarily prolonged time to fill.
In my experience as a hiring manager, the hiring process has gone most smoothly when I’ve leveraged these key concepts:
Work with the recruiter on a clear, concise job description
Describe the ideal profile of the candidate you’re looking for, not just hard skills but soft skills and criteria for cultural fit
Provide detailed feedback on why a candidate isn’t a fit so the recruiter understands why you are rejecting a resume or a candidate
Set expectations for how quickly you want to fill the position
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
To get in to a little more detail on each, here’s some input for consideration:
1. Work with the recruiter on a clear, concise job description
Whether it’s you or the recruiter who actually writes the job description, it’s always beneficial to talk through the specifics of the criteria and experience so there is alignment, especially when it comes to specific skills. A recruiter may not be as familiar with the programming languages or technology platforms defined in the job description, so it’s helpful to explain not only what the specific requirements are, but why they are important. This helps the recruiter understand where there may or may not be flexibility in specific skills and help eliminate candidates from contention during initial sourcing.
2. Describe the ideal profile of the candidate you’re looking for, not just hard skills but soft skills and criteria for cultural fit
Will this person work independently or as part of a team? Will they be doing more writing or speaking or a good deal of both? Will they be interfacing with clients, partners or executives? These are important questions to address even if they aren’t specified in the job description. Understanding these criteria will help the recruiter during sourcing and initial screening.
3. Provide detailed feedback on why a candidate isn’t a fit so the recruiter understands why you are rejecting a resume or a candidate
It’s challenging enough to find a candidate that looks good on paper, but not providing feedback on why a candidate doesn’t meet your expectations as a hiring manager makes the recruiter’s job nearly impossible. Don’t be the hiring manager that says “I’ll know the perfect candidate when I see it” or provides feedback such as “yeah, I just didn’t like him” unless you want to spend your time screening resumes and candidates that don’t match your expectations and wind up prolonging the recruiting process.
4. Set expectations for how quickly you want to fill the position
Does the position need to be filled immediately to support operational needs today or is it more important to take the time to hire the right person for the long-term? Is there a compelling event coming up that a new hire needs to participate in for successful onboarding (quarterly business review, user conference, sales training) or can you design and deploy an effective onboarding process at any time? The recruiter needs to know this information from the start in order to prioritize his or her efforts and meet your expectations for timeframe.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Whether it’s through face to face meetings, phone calls, email, Skype, text messages, or tin cans and a string, communication is the key to a successful hiring process. In addition to traditional methods, applicant tracking systems provide a platform for feedback and communication on specific candidates throughout the recruiting process. Use the tools at your disposal to communicate throughout the hiring process and you’ll recognize the benefits.
Hiring the right candidate is a partnership between the hiring manager and recruiter. The better aligned you are with your partner in recruiting, the more efficient and effective the process will be. These are examples of concepts that will make this partnership successful and support the common goal of hiring a great candidate that’s going to meet the needs of the position, the department and the company.