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4 Things Hiring Managers Must Do

Posted by | December 26, 2014 | Employer, Hiring

Via LinkedIn : How many times have you been in the position where the hiring process takes weeks or even months to complete? You could go through several interviews, phone screens, and social conversations that can take weeks to accomplish for a position that is active and needs to be filled. It is clear that hiring managers need to spend more time building their candidate pipelines. Hiring managers have a great deal on their plates already, from running the day-to-day business operations, performance evaluations, compensations issues, enablement…. the list goes on and on. As a result of this workload, managers take too long to find the right candidate, which risks losing the candidate or rush the hiring process and settles for B+ players. It is my position that hiring mangers need to do four things to feed and nurture their candidate pipeline. I would ask that each hiring manager spend 10% of his or her workweek focused on building their candidate pool. As a direct benefit of this action, they would see hiring timelines dramatically reduced, more time spent getting to know candidates and the value they would bring to the company, and they would be able to hire the A+ candidates rather than settle.

1. Identify Where You’ll Get Your Candidates

This can be quite a daunting task, but there are four primary areas where candidates originate:

  1. From your existing staff
  2. From the Internet
  3. From recruiters
  4. From the candidates your interviewing.

There is no question that successful people surround themselves with others like them. If you have an A+ team today, then they know, have worked with, or are friends with people you should be speaking to. But how do you get the staff to submit their friends and colleagues? There are several methods that I’ve found successful, with the strongest being an incentive program. I offered up a $500 cash award for the first person to provide me 10 names with contact information like a phone number or email address. Then I provided a $300 cash award for the second person to provide 10 names and contact information. For $800 I was able to get twenty contacts, which isn’t all that expensive. I then offered $50 cash award for just 10 names and some information about them so that I could look them up myself. This incentive provided me with 50 contacts within a week.

Along with staff candidate referrals, the Internet provides… my favorite site for candidate searches is LinkedIn! It has a powerful search engine that will allow you to search within your entire ecosystem and beyond. Other sources that I would encourage you to look at are: The Ladders, Monster, Career Builder, and Facebook. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is where I have had my greatest success finding solid candidates.

Recruiters are an excellent source for helping you find highly qualified candidates, but this service can come with a hefty price tag. If you’re in a bind and need to find a highly qualified person to fill a role, it maybe well worth the investment to use a recruiter to help you fill it. Be sure to check with your corporate Human Resources department before using a recruiter to ensure that you are in compliance with using a third party sourcing agency. You may also find out that your company already has agreements in place with recruiting agencies that you can work with directly. However, if you don’t have such an agreement, LinkedIn is your friend!! Using theAdvanced Search feature, choose Staffing and Recruiting from the Industry list and enter any other specific information needed. What will return are recruiters who are probably more than happy to help you with your staffing needs.

The last source I have found to be useful are the candidates you are interviewing. Similar to your own staff, candidates that you speak with have surrounded themselves with people who are equally as successful. As you get to know the candidates, it can’t hurt to ask them who they would like to work with again and capture that name. Chances are good that they’re listed on LinkedIn and you can reach out to them directly.

2. Track Your Candidates

Now that you’ve spent quality time building your candidate pool, you’ll need to keep track of how frequently you’ve interacted with them, when you last contacted them, and any notes regarding the connection. I have made available a sample tracking sheet that I’ve used in the past. I want to thank David McPherson for developing this sheet. It is divided into four sections: Live, on hold, no longer active, and hired. Simply enter the candidate’s information, where you found them or who referred them, and contact information. Then in the Pipeline and Hiring sections keep track of whom the candidates have interviewed with so that you can see the progression during the hiring process. As a byproduct of maintaining this document, it can be provided to the leadership team to clearly articulate and demonstrate your candidate pipeline. Further, when colleagues come and ask if you know anyone that may be a good fit for a role that has opened up outside of your direct area of responsibility, you’ll have this document to refer back and provide real and accurate information.

3. Social Networking Phase

There are essentially two phases to the recruiting and hiring process. There is the phase where you’re getting to know a candidate to see if they’re a good fit for the role, company, and culture, which I refer to as the Social Networking Phase. The phase where you’re actually working the candidate through the corporate hiring process, I refer to as the hiring phase. The goal is to incorporate as much of what occurs in the actual hiring process into the social networking phase.

During the Social Networking Phase, the hiring manager should begin to develop and foster a relationship with the candidate. In the early stages of this phase, the hiring manager should review the resume, conduct a phone screen and potentially do a face-to-face interview with the candidate. Doing these steps will help the hiring manager determine if this is a candidate they wish to pursue or not. If the former, then it is incumbent upon the hiring manager to maintain contact with the candidate. Maintaining a social contact with a candidate is easier said than done, given how busy our schedules can be at times. Hiring managers should schedule phone calls or drop emails to the candidates to simply check in with them on a regular basis. This doesn’t need to be an overly large time commitment; maybe 15 minutes a month per candidate you are pursuing. If you find yourself traveling to a city where you have a candidate, make it a point to call them and let them know you’re in town. Take them out for coffee or a meal to have some good face-to-face time. Get to really know the candidate and demonstrate to them how important you see them working for you. This phase of the process can last months to years. I’ve had candidates in my social pipeline for three years before I was able to hire them. What you’re accomplishing during this phase is having the candidate develop a sense of trust with you and the company, providing the candidate an opportunity to speak with others who work for you or the ecosystem, and the very early stages of loyalty.

4. The Hiring Phase

Now that headcount has been made available, it’s time to hire someone. If you have executed, even minimally, the previous three steps, you’re in a much better position to hire a good candidate than if you were starting from scratch the day the headcount became available. During the Social Networking Phase you should have been able to introduce candidates to people who they’ll be working directly with or supporting. In the Hiring Phase, very quickly have two or three of your top candidates interview with key stakeholders of the business they’ll be supporting. With a little luck, you may have already done this as part of the previous phase. But if not, that’s okay because you have socialized them with others. The candidate is very familiar with the business, who the customers are, the products they need to support, and the value that they bring to the table. It makes for a much stronger interview. This process should last days with the longest time impact being the generation of the offer letter.

Conclusion

Hiring Managers need to invest in building a successful candidate pipeline. Investing 40 minutes of time a week nurturing their candidates can yield a new hire in 14 days versus the industry average of 72 days. These four simple steps will greatly help the hiring managers with developing their own networks, promote the company success, and attract and hire A+ players.

Happy Hunting!

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