As recruiters, we all run into situations where our process does not exactly jive with the process of the hiring manager we are working with.  This can cause major delays in hiring and is usually more about trust then two processes working together.  So how do you avoid the hold-ups and find a middle ground?

A recruitment plan will be the key.  I cannot stress this enough.  Set up time with the hiring manager to go over the details of the job descriptions, how the interview process will operate, and what questions you will ask the candidates in initial conversations.  This will help eliminate miscommunication in the early phases of screening and sourcing candidates.

When you go over the job description with the hiring manager, be sure that the responsibilities and qualifications are reviewed very clearly.  Many times “preferred” means required and there are other times when the skills needed turns into a wish list, more than a realistic overview of what is needed to be able to perform the job.  If your hiring manager pushes back on eliminating items on their wish list, find the candidates that meet the requirements (however few they might be) and present them to the manager for review.  If they work out, go play the lottery because you just got very lucky!

Now, if you aren’t having the luckiest day and cannot meet all of the items on the list, submit individuals as close to their dream candidate as possible.  To address the qualifications they do not have, but the manager was seeking, explain how they are still a good fit for the position.  Sometimes these missing skills can be acquired through trainings and performing the duties of the job.  Wish lists should never deter you from looking at those “almost-perfect” candidates.

Ask the hiring manager who will be involved in the hiring process and how many interviews will take place.  If you feel there are too many interviews being proposed, do not just concede and agree to a longer process than your candidates will be willing to go through.  How many interviews are needed is often depended upon the nature of the job and how many people or departments are involved.  If you agree to a longer process then needed, you could risk losing your candidate.  A process that goes by too quickly could potentially end in the wrong hire.

Last, but not least, let the hiring manager know what questions you will be going over with the candidates prior to scheduling them for interviews.  Also be sure to go over the purpose of the questions.  This gives the manager the opportunity to explain to you what sort of answers you should be looking for and what questions could possibly be added. This is the bread and butter of getting your manager’s buy in.

By the end of your entire recruitment plan meeting and addressing the topics listed here, you will have gained the trust of the hiring manager and tied up any loose ends.  The hiring manager has now guided you through your own process and you have given yourself the opportunity to exert your expertise in recruitment.  Congratulations, as you are now on your way to a hire.

By Amanda Cunningham | People Science Talent Advisor