Hiring & Recruiting

What Happens When Recruiters Get It Wrong?

One common challenge in finding and hiring the best talent is the disconnect between hiring managers and recruiters, which can lead to pricey errors. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the cost of a bad hire at 30 percent of an employee’s first year earnings. With that type of money on the line, hiring managers and recruiters need to get things right the first time.

Yet, they often do get it wrong—or end up with open positions that go unfilled for months. And research has shown just how deep the rift is between the people at the center of hiring at many companies, which may be a big part of the problem. While 80 percent of recruiters think they have a “high” to “very high” understanding of the jobs for which they recruit, 60 percent of hiring managers say recruiters have, at best, a “low” to “moderate” understanding of these same jobs.

Clearly, hiring managers and recruiters are not always on the same page in terms of understanding a company’s hiring needs. And to further complicate things, they literally are sometimes not even in the same building—or country. The good news is the latest talent acquisition technologies can help foster a stronger partnership between hiring managers and recruiters and build a better foundation for mutual success.

In fact, some experts say that a functional, technology-enabled relationship between recruiters and hiring managers is critical to eliminating bottlenecks in the talent acquisition process. The use of automated processes and innovative tools like mobile, social, and video for talent acquisition, lead to reduced time-to-fill, better communication, and streamlined efforts overall.

But before technology can work, a genuine and ideal partnership needs to be established. Hiring managers and recruiters should do the following:

1. Actually talk to each other. When a position is identified, it’s important that you and the hiring manager have a sit-down before any sourcing, job advertising, or screening begins. You must discuss the skills needed to fulfill the job, how the role interacts with other people in the organization, and the role’s impact on business goals. Research indicates that 79 percent of companies with the best hiring manager/recruiter relationships meet or talk on the phone to discuss job requirements, and 67 percent prepare screening questions and interview questions together.

It’s also helpful to treat hiring managers like your personal clients. As is the case in any successful business partnership, you should make an effort to get to know your hiring managers. What are their communication styles? What are their expectations? Hiring managers should also be given expectations regarding how long it may take to see submitted candidates, how many candidates will be presented (for example, will a slate of candidates be shared or just the top pick?), and how frequently they can expect to hear from you about progress. With this strategy, hiring managers will have realistic expectations, and you will understand how to best serve your “clients.”

2. Use social media. Today’s candidates are taking their job hunts into their own hands by searching on social media for their next career match. While it has become a regular practice for recruiters to use social media in their recruiting efforts, businesses can now get all employees involved in this effort. (See Chapter 3 for a more in-depth discussion of the use of social media in recruiting.)

Automated job publishing tools can instantly push job listings to the social networks of employees, with their permission, furthering the reach of social recruiting efforts. This is a great opportunity for hiring managers to step in. Because they are the experts in their fields, managers may already be connected to talented people within their industry and can source talent through their own networks.

Additionally, by developing a “team” sourcing strategy, hiring managers gain visibility into the process and a better understanding of the time and effort it takes to find top talent, which can strengthen their relationship with you.

3. Use automation to help maintain a pipeline of warm candidates. One of the most common complaints among hiring managers is the lack of ready candidates who have been kept warm or been in touch with recruiters before a formal job posting. To mitigate this, you should be proactively sourcing and building talent pools for different departments throughout the organization.

Recruitment marketing automation software enables businesses to source passive candidates, organize them by function, department, or region, and engage with them via newsletters, e-mails, blasts, and other communications. Just as businesses drive sales from automated marketing efforts, employers can use recruitment marketing tools to drive candidates to their open positions.

For best results, you should engage with your talent pools and offer relevant information about the company and the industry—not just push out jobs. In the meantime, hiring managers should stay in contact with you about their candidate pools, even when a specific position on their team is not open for hire. By keeping a pipeline at all times, you can rapidly respond to unexpected shifts in staffing needs and offer best-fit candidates, even in short turnaround situations.