I had a conversation the other day with a corporate HR Director and we were talking recruiters – corporate recruiters. My friend had a dilemma, a classic corporate recruiting scenario. Here’s her problem – she has recruiters who are doing a decent job, but they won’t get out from behind their desk and get out into the organization and get face-to-face feedback from the hiring managers. But – here is the real reason: the recruiters feel like they are “wasting” the hiring managers time.
“So” she asked, “How do I get them out to build these relationships?”
Great question – but she asked the wrong question (was partially my answer). Her problem isn’t that her recruiters aren’t building the relationships face-to-face – the problem is they feel they are “wasting” someones time. They don’t value, or understand the value they are providing to the hiring manager – if they did, it sounds like they wouldn’t have a problem with visiting with the hiring managers. It’s a classic leadership fail – solving a symptom instead of solving the actual problem.
Don’t think that this is rare, recruiters feeling like they are wasting hiring managers time – it happens constantly at the corporate level. Once you train your recruiters (and hiring managers) on the value the recruiters are providing – you see much less resistance of the recruiters feeling comfortable getting in front of hiring managers to get feedback on candidates, and actually making a decision. This moves your process along much quicker.
What value do recuiters provide? Well, that seems like a real stupid question – but there aren’t stupid questions (just stupid people who ask questions). Here’s a few that will help your corporate recruiters understand their real value to hiring managers:
- Corporate recruiters are the talent pipeline for a hiring manager. (or should be!)
- Corporate recruiters can be the conduit for hiring managers to increase or better the talent within their department.
- Corporate recruiters are a partner to the hiring managers in assessing talent.
- Corporate recruiters are a strategist for the hiring managers group succession planning
- Corporate recruiters are your hiring managers first line of performance management (setting expectations before someone even comes in the door)
- Corporate recruiters are tacticians of organizational culture.
So, the next time you hear a recruiter tell you “I don’t want to waste their time.” Don’t go off on them and tell them to “just go out there and build the relationship” – educate them on why they aren’t wasting their time. Then do an assessment for yourself to determine are they adding value or are they just wasting time – all recruiters are not created equal – some waste time – and it’s your job as a leader to find ones add value.
A critical component to all of this is building an expectation of your hiring managers of what they should expect from your recruiters. They should expect value, they should expect a recruiter who is a pro, who is going to help them maneuver the organizational landscape and politics of hiring, they should expect a recruiter is going to deliver to them better talent than they already have, they should expect a partner, someone who is looking out for the best interest of the hiring managers department. They should expect that their time won’t be wasted.
I have seen the exact same problem with staff members and their own managers. Being afraid to ask a question because they are afraid it is trivial or a waste of time. As long as someone is not asking the same question repeatedly then there are no dumb questions. That is how people learn and develop, so I would hope managers would invite those questions. The better trained someone working for you is the more successful you will be. The same goes for a hiring manager, if I am a hiring manager and a recruiter takes the time to find out exactly what I want and need the quality of my hires will go up and I will be successful. Over time hopefully that recruiter will be able to be proactive to that manager’s needs and that is when that relationship is developed which benefits the recruiter as well, you become their “goto” guy.