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.