Recruiting 101: Setting the Stage for Success


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3 Tips to Ensure Hiring Manager Alignment From Day 1

Recruiting kick off

It can be challenging to balance your Hiring Manager’s need to fill a role quickly and your objective to fill the role with the right person. Haven’t we all been in the situation where we have had to re-recruit (sometimes multiple times) because the person just doesn’t work out in a rushed hiring process?!

Your challenge: Getting your Hiring Manager on board and getting it right the first time!

The work to do so might be tougher in the short term, but the long-term pay off is huge – you’ll truly deliver value to your business and you’ll also build great credibility!

Follow these 3 Simple Steps When Kicking Off a Search:

1. Understand The Need: Figure Out What Your Hiring Manager Truly Wants

Often times Hiring Managers have a firm idea of what the ideal candidate looks like but have a hard time describing it. Don’t take a list of criteria for granted – test it!

Ask a lot of questions to distill what is truly needed. Get deep – be further than true minimum qualifications. Find out the top 3 to 5 key attributes that will make someone successful in the role. Extend your focus outside of the role to also understand requirements around the team dynamic – help the Hiring Manager identify the bigger picture. For example: does it make sense to have another experienced hire in the team or a more junior candidate? Think about supporting long-term succession planning, balancing personalities & experience in the team, and bringing knowledge of new and innovative thoughts, systems and tools.

Make sure that you and the Hiring Manager land on clearly defined expectations.

2. Fact Based Influencing: Let the Data do the Talking

At the start of a new relationship with a Hiring Manager, don’t expect your word to be taken as the truth. You still have to prove your worth – that’s normal.

Build a strong sourcing strategy that targets your key group(s) of potential candidates. Know where to find them, how to best reach them, and plan a compelling proposition. Don’t shoot at all moving targets at once – be deliberate.

Identify your top sourcing strategy and make that your focus. Most importantly, track what you do and the results you generate from the various activities– this will allow you to showcase fact-based results to your Hiring Manager. These facts allow you to influence your Hiring Manager to course correct where needed based on the results. This may be: extra sourcing dollars for specific website postings; funds to take potential candidates out for coffee to generate referrals, or, even re-assessing the targeted candidate profile altogether.

The extra bonus – the information you collect will support the next time you are sourcing for a similar role. Remember, this is important groundwork.

3. Continuous Communication: The Key to Building True Partnerships

Critical to your success is proactive and regular communication with your Hiring Manager.

Make sure it’s continuous and fact based. Using the first 2 steps of this plan, you have already set clear expectations, built a strong sourcing strategy, and are measuring the results of your efforts. These steps give you the ability to communicate fact based information and identify if you are on target for successful delivery.

Set a regular meeting with your Hiring Manager (I recommend weekly) to give them the scoop on sourcing methods, applications, and qualified candidates. Use facts to make tough messages (i.e. lack of qualified candidates) easier and continue to develop next steps in collaboration with your Hiring Manager for ongoing buy-in and to drive your recruiting forward to deliver on time and on budget!

Working Your Plan:

You have now built a strong foundation for your success – just work your plan!

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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  • Thanks for the great post Helen. You truly are a recruiting expert! I completely agree that this proactive approach & laying the ground work pays off ten-fold in terms of meeting your timeline, showcasing your value & in building a relationship with your Hiring Manager. I look forward to your posts as a regular Talent Formula blogger highlighting Recruiting best practices!

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