Recruiters and human resources professionals may “own” the hiring process, but the hiring manager’s name should also appear on the deed. After all, hiring managers (HMs) have an even greater interest in finding talent that will help them achieve their goals — if Henrietta Hiring Manager is tasked with an objective of the highest priority, who does she want on her team: James Bond or Austin Powers? background checks
Of course, if the HM is just looking for any warm body to “fill a seat,” there’s no need to read further. But the more important it is to hire exactly the right person, the more important it is for the HM and recruiter to partner on a focused and considered recruitment effort. As we say at our firm, “Design what you want or deal with what you get.”
Marketing in Recruiting?
A key area that deserves engaged consideration is marketing the opportunity to attract the right candidates. It’s always easy to attract people who are actively looking — like drawing sci-fi geeks to ComiCon. But why limit it to active candidates? GREAT candidates are attracted in two ways: effective marketing, and a fluke of time and place. Do you really want to leave this important effort to a fluke?
Marketing in recruiting may be a new concept to HMs, so recruiters should brainstorm with the HM for an hour at the outset (perhaps the most crucial hour of all) to gain alignment. We don’t believe you should even start sourcing until you have thoroughly explored both the obvious topic — identifying the ideal candidate to target — and the less obvious but equally important topic — how to attract that ideal person. Don’t worry about active candidates; instead, focus on what will tempt passive candidates to leave their current jobs in order to take this open position.
Position the company as an employer of choice, but don’t stop there; your ideal candidate may already be working for a growing industry leader with great culture. You’ll need to dig deeper to define what makes this position an opportunity of choice specifically for the person you want in the role. Perhaps it is the impact a candidate can make or what the candidate might learn or the career options open to the candidate. And think retention — what will set the stage so that this new employee is still around when iPhone 43 is released?
Find the Pain
What pain are potential candidates experiencing in their current jobs? Though market intel, the HM may know that Account Executives at a competitor are micro-managed — can you offer them greater autonomy? Be exhaustive in teasing out the various selling points, but keep it real. Candidates know fluff (“A keg in every cubicle!”) when they see it. And try turning requirements into opportunities: if you need someone with business savvy and initiative, present the opening as an opportunity for candidates to leverage their entrepreneurial spirit.