A recent call with a hiring manager and HR highlighted the problems that sometimes occur when hiring.

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The impetus for this video was a recent call, I was on with a hiring manager, with HR, where clearly there was a disconnect between the HR organization and the hiring manager. The HR organization was trying to encourage the hiring manager to making quick decisions and the hiring manager clearly was resistant to doing that, which led me, as a recruiter, know that this hiring manager was going to take a very lackadaisical approach to hiring because they wanted the perfect person but what they were describing was pretty generic.
Now, I'm a sales professional. And what I try to do is help organizations play big and be effective at what I do. I'll simply say, if you're a hiring manager, I want you to wake up to the fact that people have lots of choices. Other organizations are going to pick them up. Now, you can say, "Well, I really don't care, I want to find the right person."
Well, why haven't you been working on this all along? What's your network like that you can't pull someone in on your own hat woultd want to work for you? If your network and your way of doing things was so effective, why aren't you just able to make three phone calls, get two interviews, and hire this person without me?
The answer is, the problem exists with the hiring manager. HR was trying to encourage this person to understand that the market right now is very strong and talented people have options. They're not going to go through this lengthy review process that takes six months for someone to make a decision nor do I have any interest in being involved in that either. I've got other things to do, and I've got my own bills to pay without doing social work that's unpaid for.
So, as a contingency recruiter, I have to figure out where it is, I'm going to invest my time. This hiring manager didn't really look like a good choice for me, because they aren't really clear.
When a hiring manager gives me a spec that is so generic, And when I try and pin them down, there's really very little more that they give me, it's clear that I'm dealing with someone with an analytical personality, and it's going to be tough. I don't have the time, nor do you as an HR professional, have the time to provide service to this person.
What was funny to me was right after the call, I got a message from the HR person saying that someone else was going to be my point of acontact for this search . . . which let me know he didn't want it on his books, as an open req, that he wants to pass it off to someone else, rather than have it be a stain on his record. So, he gave it to the new guy.
So, I'll simply say, if you're a hiring manager, you need to smarten up fast and figure out what it is you need from a new person and get clear about it. Hiring should take six to eight weeks these days, tops. That assumes, of course, you have a reasonable requirement.
If you don't, fix it. Fix what needs to be analyzed beforehand, rather than calling in the cavalry, because all that happens is when guys like me get involved with a requirement, we all have an expectation that what we're going to do is going to bear some fruit. And rightly so!
You know, we're asked to work for free. And when we talk about you writing a check as as a retainer, to justify our time you guys all go, "Oh, no no no no no."
I'm going to tell you, I'm not working on this. Why bother training someone for free, and then have them hire them from someone else? So, I'll simply say, folks get clear about what you need and the timeline for hiring. It's not like the miracle person's going to walk in.
At the end of the day, you've got a job to do and a requirement to fill and this isn't the supermarket with lots of items on the shelf. Only one person is going to fit that particular need.
Oh, yeah.
I'm just get this out of the way again, like I always do. You folks are not equipped to evaluate for fit. Tell me about the measurements that you're using to evaluate for fit that don't involve bias. You know, it's not like you're giving people standardized tests to determine their psychology, nor have you tested your own people for that. So, don't give me this nonsense about we want someone who fits in. That basically tells me we want a homogeneous environment. The people who look just like you and act just like you. That's not really going to serve you.
You want complimentary personalities and most of you aren't equipped to evaluate that. Stick to skills evaluation, and you will go a lot further, a lot faster and can be a lot more effective.
Sorry, I have to always get that ranting because it drives me crazy when firms talk about fit, and then they wind up being sued for discrimination later on and don't understand why.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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