Funny story. Recently, a friend of mine wanted to tack on a side hustle and give grocery delivery a try. They got their first order and they were like a kid on Christmas. So excited! They go to the store, list on their phone, ready to go.
Halfway through, the cart is starting to fill up. Feeling good. In the freezer section, there were a few items that had to be replaced. But in the process of requesting the replacement, boom. Phone crashes.
This is where things go off the wall because my friend didn’t restart the phone. No, they just left. Whole basket of groceries sitting in the middle of the aisle, all that food. Imagine what it felt like for the people at home who never got their groceries!
But I also imagine it’s a lot like what hiring managers feel when they give a recruiter their “order” and it comes back short. They input an order, identify all the details they think you need, then something else (or nothing) shows up. It’s a recipe for disappointment for everyone.
The Real Hiring Experts
Obviously, recruiters can’t just up and leave a situation like in my friend’s case, even if we wish we could after seeing some of the laundry lists that managers bring to the table. But the thing is, if you ask for a list? You’ll always get one, and we shouldn’t expect our hiring managers to just give us what we need to find the right candidate. We’re supposed to be the hiring experts after all, right?
Just like grocery shopping, there are a lot of different ways hiring can get done. Hiring managers experience many different styles of hiring, from agencies to in-house, working as both order-takers and collaborators through many different processes in their careers. In some cases, hiring works like an order that is inputted, but in other cases, a recruiting agency hands you a pile of candidates.
No matter what, every hire should be starting with an intake meeting where you’re asking questions that inspire imagination instead of lists. Instead of letting hiring managers place an order for a candidate, teach them how to know what they’re really looking for. Be a teacher, not a doer, to build trust between you and your hiring managers.
If you’re going to argue that you’re too busy and don’t have enough time to train each of your hiring managers, I have some news for you: You’re recruiting for more roles than you have the capacity for. Even online grocery orders have cap limits, whether it’s the number or weight of items being ordered. The same goes for hiring. If you don’t have the time to hold an intake and write job posts for each of your open roles, then you shouldn’t be hiring for them, either.
What Good Looks Like
Training hiring managers to know what they’re looking for is just one of the ways we can elevate them to be better at hiring. What other topics should you be training your team on? Here are a few ideas.
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Length of process. Hiring isn’t a one-and-done process. It takes a couple of days to write a job post, which then needs to be reviewed and posted online. Once candidates begin applying, they need to be reviewed. The entire hiring process should be spelled out with timelines for your team from start to finish, explaining how long each step takes and what happens in what order.
Biases. Your team should be aware of what biases exist (in job postings and their own!), and how these biases can impact hiring. For example, many people still believe that years of experience belong on a job posting, but that’s not the case. Years of experience is a bias that quantifies time, but qualifies no one. At the end of the day, two people who have the same job at the same company won’t always do the same thing every day.
Interviewing. Interviews are the first impression a candidate will have of your company, so it’s important that your team is trained on how to conduct interviews that build belonging. From how your team introduces themselves to what kind of questions they ask, your team should be trained on what it takes to be a good interviewer.
Job posts. While you’re the expert here, your team still needs to know what good looks like and what good means. If you don’t train them on which tactics you use when writing and why, they may come back with edits reiterating bad practices. Instead, ensure they understand why good job posts are written with these tactics.
Investing in your team is important for their success and yours, and training is a great way to ensure your team knows exactly what they’re doing and why. Not only will it make them better at their jobs, but when your hiring managers know how to hire better? You’ll have better candidates coming in the door, too.