I’d like to live on Lake Washington: 5 bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, a pool, chef’s kitchen, and sport court. The purchase price must be less than $200,000 and it can’t be a fixer upper.
Anyone from the surrounding Seattle area knows you can’t live on Lake Washington for $200,000 without an extreme fixer upper.
So what happens next? Do I search for the “perfect” house only to be let down time and again when my offers are rejected? As silly as this may seem to savvy home buyers, this is a strategy used in recruiting and it can hamstring hiring managers.
The idea of a “perfect fit” for certain positions is made up of multiple components. With these, we are able to calculate availability (inventory) and cost (salary range), independent of need or urgency. This determines how long the search will remain open, during which time qualified candidates are interviewed and eventually hired.
If our list of requirements is out of balance, it will leave our team searching indefinitely for someone who may not exist. Not to be confused with a difficult search; agency recruiters exist because quality candidates are difficult to find, just as a good deal on Lake Washington is difficult to find.
Just as a good Realtor will manage my home buying expectations with a dose of reality, an expert recruiter must do the same. Whether internal or external, it’s critical to bring a hiring manager’s requirements into line with what can realistically be delivered.
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For agency recruiters, getting the hiring manager’s attention can be the most difficult part. Prove your worth and deliver quality information instead of just another “yes” answer. If their expectations aren’t in line with the market, tell them. If this search has been open for 60+ days, ask for their opinion — “Why has it been open so long?”
Here are five tips for maintaining balance with hiring managers:
- Set expectations early and often. (Expectations can be updated as new information is gathered,)
- Agree upon a timeline.
- Gather quality intel from your team.
- Recruit your butt off.
- Meet with +/- candidates. (You may be surprised at the quality of an 80%er.)
When considering what real functions of the role look like, focus on the “what” of the position and match requirements accordingly. Remember to know your market, share information openly, push your team, and influence your hiring managers.