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Why Recruiters are from Mercurius and Hiring Managers from Pluto

And how to travel to the same planet…

You have spent weeks (and probably months) to search, screen and select good candidates to fill positions at your company. The hiring manager probably passed your desk to discuss the vacancy and the discussion likely went along the lines of “I need a new product manager, someone exactly like Jessica, I need her to start yesterday and will be good to talk to 5 good candidates next week. OK?”. [rushing off].

Granted, this is somewhat exaggerated, but I think you will recognize the situation. The reality is, in a company where everything is essential, stuff needs to happen fast and problems (read: ‘challenges’) need to be resolved in the shortest possible time. This is where, especially when it concerns recruiting new colleagues, a large and often recurring pitfall looms; the bad hire which may leave again after 3 months on the job.

So, what’s really happening here and how can we improve the involvement of hiring managers in the selection process?

@ Mercurius

As a recruiter, you are often left with questions after the briefing that need to be discussed. Has the role changed? Why did she leave the job? Will the role change in the future, or do we need to hire a different type of product manager? In other words; recruiters perform better with a more comprehensive briefing.

Meanwhile @ Pluto

The hiring manager has most probably copy-pasted the ‘old’ Job Description, added a (very) long list of essential qualities, and wonders why there are so few suitable candidates. Each candidate proposed by the recruiter is missing something. “Come on, how hard can it be to get me a new product manager???”

Let’s try and meet on the same planet

There are numerous studies that deal with candidate hiring processes and the complexities involved. iCIMS conducted an interesting study 1 which showed that there really are 2 planets in play. The largest bottleneck (37%) in the recruitment process was the hiring manager (Greetings from Pluto). Followed by the screening process of the HR department (23%). Essentially this means that the Pluto and Mercurius combined already represent 60% of the bottleneck frustrations.

On one planet recruiters (80%) think they know the role they recruit for, and hiring managers (61%) think there is perhaps only a moderate understanding. More so, hiring managers spend valuable time with proposed candidates but 77% indicate that recruiters should screen better as the face to face interview really turned out to be a waste of time… “Why did you invite that candidate?”

What can organizations do to improve the process, spend time with the right candidates and both be happy with the result?

Essentially the often-mentioned solution, and the only true one, is to start to recruit together in essential phases. This means collaboration between HR and Hiring Manager in at least 3 key moments of the recruitment process.

  1. At the start: What is the exact role the hiring manager wants staffed? Don’t just accept a job description. Book your quality one-on-one time to discuss the JD and truly understand challenges in this role.
  2. In preparation: Which questions to ask? Structured questions, consistently asked to all candidates will allow both recruiter and hiring manager to review candidates in a more meaningful way, with less bias involved. Develop these questions together based on competencies, skills and company culture.
  3. In initial screening: Involve the hiring manager in the screening process of candidates. A hiring manager may already have decided in the first 5 minutes of the interview that a fully vetted candidate is actually not suitable to fit in the team. Technology now facilitates a very effective solution to involve the Hiring manager in the process without him/her doing all the tasks which HR is already doing.

Video recruitment allows both recruiter and hiring manager to review each candidate application and leave comments or a rating. The hiring manager can instantly get a first personal impression of the candidate and let the recruiter know if a meeting should be planned or not. This saves time for recruiter and hiring manager.

The total rate of wasted interview hours on Pluto and the wasted Planning and Preparation hours spent on Mercurius can be reduced drastically.

Happy Hiring!



Infographic | Why Video Recruitment Works | Download