by David Mandar
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Prepping the Hiring Manager is half the battle
Yes, you heard it right. Prep the hiring manager. As recruiters we hate to leave anything to chance. So we are constantly checking and confirming through the hiring process so that there are no surprises. We do background checks, we do in-depth candidate screening, we prep our candidates for interviews, we follow up, we pre-close, we get confirmed offers and even follow up regularly after the hire.
It’s a lot of time and effort invested with the candidate to make sure things go right, but they are only half of the equation. The hiring manager is the other half. Considering that they make the hiring decision, the majority of recruiters leave a lot to chance by not addressing the following topics before the candidate interview.
- Job Description: Since the manager wants to meet with the candidate, it’s easy to assume a good match. But does the manager see any potential gaps with the candidate’s fit to the job requirements? How are they going to be addressed in the interview? Are these gaps critical? Get this information and discuss it with your candidate prior to the interview. Refresh their memory of past job experiences so that they can use them in the interview and close that gap.
- Concerns about background: Is there anything in the candidate’s background that concerns the manager such as education, companies they have worked for, upward trends, downward trends or even titles? Everyone makes assumptions about other people including hiring managers. For example, does the manager think the candidate lives too far to commute without getting burned out in traffic? Address these by discussing them with the candidate.
- Salary expectations: You have spoken with the candidate. Now you have to make sure everyone is on the same page with salary expectations. Do you need to bump up the manager’s expectation? Does the manager have a poor perception of the candidate with a lower salary attached to it? Make sure going into the interview, your candidate’s salary expectation is level to or lower than the manager’s. You need to keep up to date on this over the entire hiring period. It does move around when budgets change, the client hits a poor quarter or they are no longer desperate.
- Process: You should already know most of this from working with your client, but make sure you confirm all the details around the interview. How many people the candidate will meet with, their names, titles and their part in the decision making. How many meetings over how many days? Is there a test? Time is always a factor. If a manager is dragging the process out, grease the wheels and get it moving forward. Remind them that good candidates don’t last long on the market.
- Competition: Are there other candidates interviewing? How many? How do they compare to your candidate? What does the manager need to see for a candidate to be successful? When will the manager be able to make a decision? You have to know where your candidate stands.
- Offer: You may think this is common sense, but many recruiters get caught off guard by a hiring manager who makes an offer before the candidate leaves the interview. Your candidate is perfect and the manager doesn’t want to lose them, so they jump on them with a quick offer. You may think this is good. Sometimes it is, but it can also cause damage since everyone makes decisions differently. Remind the manager that the evaluation process is going both ways. Moving before the candidate has all of their questions answered or before they are ready can blow up in their face. An offer that is too low can be nasty if the manager is not prepared for a flat out “no” or the reaction of an insulted candidate. Make sure you set the expectation that the offer goes through you.
The important thing here is to open dialogue that is honest and to the same end: getting the right candidate into the right company and job. Having a relationship with a hiring manager that reflects this will minimize the number of candidates you will have to present and manage through interviews. Plus it will ensure everyone involved in the process has a positive experience.
Utilizing over 20 years of experience within the Information Technology field, David has grown progressively through his career in Recruitment and Staffing. He is currently a Curta Coach, assisting fellow recruiters and agency owners, new to the industry and experienced, get off the recruiting hamster wheel and love their work by applying smart processes that raise the quality of hires and result in a greater business and personal brand.