Five Tips for Hiring Managers

The following are five effective tips to help hiring managers when recruiting quality candidates:

1. The LinkedIn profile is like an advertisement

Not only should your LinkedIn profile be up to date but so should the members of your team or department. Candidates want to be able to not only research the future boss but also who they would be working with. This allows them to ask better questions which results in more engaging and fruitful dialogue during the interviews.

2. Spend considerable time on the development of the position description

It would be much more effective if the hiring manager spent a significant amount of time crafting the position spec. This would include getting feedback from the hiring manager’s boss, colleagues, the current holder of the position, and possibly subordinates. The ultimate decision about the requirements and qualifications would be determined by the hiring manager but issues this person may not be aware of can be brought to light. It is amazing how during the interview process candidates figure out problems with the role that the hiring manager did not take into consideration and/or were clueless about.

3. Move faster

Although tip #2 states that it is critical to be thorough when preparing the position spec, the rest of the search process should move fluidly and in a reasonable amount of time. Timelines should be established and strictly adhered to.

Of course there is a cost if a search moves slowly including loss of great candidates, company reputation being sullied, and expenses increasing due to flying more candidates for interviews, etc. More importantly there is a psychological cost which far exceeds the costs just mentioned. Having an “empty seat” for too long especially for a senior leader diminishes staff morale due to a lack of leadership, motivation, and vision. In addition, staff could experience anxiety about who the new boss will be and the longer the search, the more it could affect them emotionally. Companies are risk averse but the damage of not filling a position quickly could be far worse than hiring the wrong person.

4. Streamline but don’t use outrageous processes

Considering recruiting is on the upswing but recruiting departments are still pretty lean, companies are trying new methods to “assess” candidates before they are considered for an interview. Invasive assessments, online questions that are video recorded, testing, and Skype panel interviews with three or more interviewers may seem like more effective methods but it turns candidates off. Having heard many horror stories of bad recruiting practices recently, I suggest being very careful in how a candidate will be assessed and how the interviewers will regroup to discuss each candidate’s qualifications.

5. Be realistic about the marketplace

The job may seem perfect and the location highly desirable but not every person who is contacted will see it that way. Even moving from one side of a state to another may not be appealing to many people. Besides cost of living (COL) differentials, candidates are concerned about quality of schools, other potential job opportunities if the job does not work out, and the culture of the community. Be as transparent as possible in regards to these concerns when speaking with candidates so no surprises spring up when they actually visit the area.

The search process can be painful but by utilizing these tips, many problems can be avoided. As I approach my 30th year in the executive search business, I have seen many changes but the bottom line is that it is a people oriented business so emotions, family, and even anxiety can come into play so be savvy in your search methodology and good luck!