ResourceseBookFinding purple squirrels recruiter1 fixing the hiring manager recruiter dynamic

1. Fixing the hiring manager-recruiter dynamic

You know the story: You’ve been working with a hiring manager, for months, to fill a role. You’ve looked through hundreds of resumes, and have recommended dozens of candidates for interviews. You know what you’re doing: The resumes look good, the qualifications are all there, and none of the initial phone screens uncovered any red flags.

However, the hiring manager is saying “No” to every single candidate. He has his reasons, every time: “She had an unexplained six-month gap”, or “he has a spelling mistake on the third line”, or “we just didn’t gel in the interview – I’m worried about culture fit”. Boy, if we had a dollar.

When hiring managers become pink squirrel hunters, you’re in for a challenge. And thanks both to the Great Resignation and the Great Shift to Remote Working, many believe that the elusive squirrels are easier to find.

In theory, that might be true – the talent pool is indeed bigger than ever – but in practice, that kind of pink squirrel is a myth. Real people are coming into your recruitment funnel and leaving, unceremoniously, to get better jobs elsewhere. Do they possess all the qualities and skills your hiring manager wants? No, and nor should they. Will they help your hiring manager (and his organization) succeed? Probably, yeah.

Consider these stats:

  • The average time to hire is 41 days (across a range of functions, according to LinkedIn).
  • 6 out of 10 employers in the US were concerned with the cost of unfilled positions, which Beamery estimated to be as much as $5,000 per day. When you consider that the average time-to-hire in 2015 was 27 days, it’s likely that our current 41-day average is blowing out vacancy costs even more!

The upshot is this: From now on, it’s only going to get more difficult to hire people, and satisfy pernickety hiring managers, at the same time. So what do recruiters do about this frustrating pursuit of furry, pink perfection?

First of all, we need to minimize human judgment as much as possible – that of the recruiter and hiring manager. Don’t get us wrong: As a recruiter, your instincts and value judgments are what make you great at your job. But when it comes to pink squirrels, you need to come at your hiring manager with hard, incontrovertible facts. Show them that there’s nothing to worry about – that you can find the people they’re after.

Did you know that 64% of hiring managers want increased skills testing? This adds a new layer of complexity to the process of vetting candidates. Given that one of the characteristics of a pink squirrel is its impossibly wide range of skills, testing is probably only going to result in more rejections. After all, if you can test for world-class Excel skills, you can demand world-class Excel skills.


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