Match Made in Hiring Manager Heaven

Who among us in talent acquisition hasn’t been in a situation where the hiring manager changes their mind midstream? Frustrating, to say the least.

It boggles the mind when we as recruiters take the time to have the conversation with our hiring managers and believe that you are both on the same page. It’s downright annoying when it seems the hiring manager takes a hard left from what they said they needed in a candidate. And then it hits youthat for whatever reason your hiring manager has had a change of heart and it all comes down to the fact that they are now looking for … the mythical unicorn.

Although your first inclination may be to pick up the phone and call the hiring manager, who you now affectionately referred to as “the idiot who wouldn’t know talent if it slapped them in the face” and give them what for, you’ll want to stop, take a deep breath … Woosahhhhhh, Woosahhhh.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Get feedback, find out what has changed, and why those you’ve sent aren’t up to snuff.
  2. Research the new ideal candidate profile to identify the existence — and in most cases nonexistence — of the purple unicorn.
  3. Have a “come to Jesus” with the hiring manager, realistically outlining what the purple unicorn looks like as a candidate, discussing if they are attainable, and at what cost.

You should be able to redirect the hiring manager to reconsider the previous candidates you’ve sent as they (the hiring manager) should have a better perspective and understanding of how his current candidates compare to an imaginary dream candidate.

Although hiring managers can often be fickle and play with our emotions, the key to not pulling out all of your hair is sometimes just keeping it real. Once a shift in gears like this occurs, be straightforward and don’t sugar coat the situation. Detail why the person they want does not exist or that it may be outside of their budget. Communicate clearly with the hiring manager to ensure you don’t experience a repeat of this behavior.

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With a little patience, you can vanquish this notion of greener grass. Sometimes hiring managers just need to be shown that what you’ve already sent is their ideal candidate and understand that the unrealistic fantasy candidate who we all imagine is more often outside of reality.

Nicole Pemberton

Nicole Pemberton is a SHRM-CP/PHR Certified recruiter experienced in training/development and the adult learning experience. She has a self-motivated energy and drive that positions her as a leader amongst her peers. As a career coach and facilitator, she actively works as a corporate recruiter for the telecom giant Verizon and community contributor. She holds a master’s degree in human resources and is currently pursuing a master's in employment law.