Whichever side of this fence you’re on, have you ever felt like HR/Recruiting and the Hiring Manager aren't aligned when it comes to hiring? When we asked our clients over the last three years, more than 70+% answered “yes”. It is a common symptom to a deeper issue that needs addressed in order to change and get better results.
Let’s look a specific example. In most companies, when a new head count is needed, whether it is a new hire or a replacement, the responsible hiring manager is usually given a process to follow. The process depends on how structured the organization really is, but the process most companies follow usually goes something like this;
A form supplied by HR asks for an attached approved job description and desired pay range (whether it be calculated or in accordance to established pay bands), then turned back over to HR. Next, the wheels move into motion as jobs are posted, recruiting is engaged, and the system to source, screen, and shepherd candidates through the interview process becomes very real. The hiring manager waits as the recruiters throw as much effort into the roles as they can, in order to get candidates in process as soon as possible to close the position.
It seems very straight forward; however misalignment begins to show itself when recruiting finds two candidates that are close, but the hiring manager balks. A usual scenario is when candidates meet two of three basic qualifications outlined for the role, are a little expensive, but within reach based on the managers own criteria. Time has been taken to source, screen, and convince the candidates the company is a good opportunity. Then the nebulous feedback comes back from the hiring manager…. The candidate(s) is not a good fit. A good fit? Determined without a conversation and after the candidate meets most if not all qualifications that were created by the hiring manager? The next step is when recruiters get justifiably agitated, the hiring manager gets agitated because he/she doesn't get what they think they need, and the company may miss out of a revenue generating or operationally important resource. A lose, lose, lose, lose scenario.
So let’s break this down how it got to this point. The hiring manager, when asked what was needed, simply answered with what the manager wanted. Misalignment number one. The recruiter took a Mick Jagger approach, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you’ll get what you need”. Recruiters take this approach because their reality of the talent market for the requested person may not even exist, and if they do, not in the salary range that the company can afford. So instead of gathering information to support what the market is really doing through Talent Intelligence, attacking what is needed vs wanted is the easiest approach. At the same time in the example above, the potential candidates will most likely go back out into the world with a negative view of your company, based on their invested time, effort, and energy with no results. We end up with a soiled employment brand, a recruiting team that wasted time and money, and a hiring manager that still doesn't have what they want and the company needs.
Like many problems, this cycle of misalignment through miscommunication has been going on for decades. How can it possibly be avoided? By simple alignment and calibration. Meaning, if a hiring manager and HR/Recruiting can establish a dialogue and collaboratively work towards the identification of what the organizations needs are and the hiring managers wants on a regular communication basis, then the margin for error becomes dramatically less. At the same time, if recruitment can support their findings with data from Talent Intelligence and not just on their gut, hiring managers are more likely to move closer to what the talent market will actually produce. Effort is now aligned with business demand. That’s the goal.