Interviews: Are You In or Out?

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Where Do Recruiters Add the Most Value: In or Out of Interviews?

Interview panel

Being a recruiter is demanding. Managing your time to deliver on multiple hiring needs can be a tough balancing act!

How do you prioritize your workload to have the most impact and drive recruitment results?

Should Recruiters Be IN Interviews?

Where can you add the most value and be as effective as possible?

I find it fascinating; throughout my career I have heard opinions on both ends of the spectrum regarding interview participation. On one side: agency recruiters would give a LOT to be at the table participating in an interview to see where candidates succeed or fail. On the other side: corporate recruiters, who are often expected to participate in every interview, wish they would have more time to complete other tasks.

To Be In The Interview or Not – That Seems to Be The Question.

Managing a high requisition load, spending solid time on sourcing activities, AND participating in interviews seems impossible to balance. In order to deliver, we need to prioritize our work and decide how to drive the best results and trade-offs sometimes need to happen.

I believe I can drive the best value by focusing on the front end of the recruitment process…

And here’s why: My time investment at the start of the recruitment life cycle is an investment on my close rate; not participating in every interview is my trade-off.

My Focus:
Up Front Investment In The Hiring Cycle:

1. Understanding Talent Segments:

I prefer to drive my applicant pool by understanding my Hiring Manager’s key talent needs and identifying where I can find these candidate sources. I identify the main attraction drivers so I can develop my applicant pool by targeting selected marketing channels with specific messaging that resonates with the talent.

2. Building a Strong Selection Funnel

My best bet to influence and impact my recruitment results is to build a strong sourcing funnel. I want to ensure that the final top candidates, meeting with the Hiring Manager, are all qualified.

The Hiring Manager’s focus is deciding which candidate is the better fit. I build my selection funnel, as a true funnel – starting with MUST-have-deal-breaker selection criteria and building out to nice-to-haves. I tackle and review each criterion the Hiring Manager and I have discussed during our kick-off meeting through resume review, phone screen questions, validation of expectations around compensation (and other rewards).

When I present my top candidate choices to my Hiring Manager, I know them all personally. I can justify my selection based on validated criteria matches and review how the final candidates compare to one another. I am able to highlight to the Hiring Manager the areas I feel are worth probing on during the actual interview to help make a final selection.

By completing phone interviews, I vet my top candidates. In that call, I validate cultural fit and key criteria. Specific technical ability is sometimes already validated by the Hiring Manager in a brief phone interview. It’s then up to my Hiring Manager to make a selection of best fit with team during the in-person interview.

3. Develop Capable Hiring Managers

Finally, I need to make sure that my Hiring Managers are capable interviewers that can extract the answers they need to make a final selection. I need to validate that Hiring Managers not only understand the legalities regarding interviewing but know how to sell the company, the role and themselves as leaders.

Why My Technique Works:

Of course I realize that our ability to choose if we participate in interviews is often not even an option – it mostly depends on your company’s pre-existing Talent Acquisition Service Delivery model.

If you had the option – Where do you feel recruiters drive most value? How can you prioritize your activities? What’s your trade off?

Helen has more than 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition working in Canada and Europe in a variety of industries including manufacturing, sales & marketing, and currently in Oil & Gas. No matter how challenging a recruitment project seems, Helen’s ability to break daunting goals into actionable steps have been proven time and time again. Watch for Helen's posts on recruiting tips and tricks. Trust Helen as an expert who has staffed projects targeting Olympic athletes, remote merchandizers, and hired over 1,200 students and new grads annually.

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