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Can Hiring Managers Really Hire Better Than Your Recruiting Team?

According to ERE’s annual State of Talent Acquisition Survey, hiring managers don’t think recruiters are that much more effective than job boards – a major difference from that of talent acquisition (TA) leaders, who think their teams are doing pretty darn well.

Is this reflective of a recruiting team’s performance, or is the real problem perception and communication?

ERE surveyed 2,500 TA professionals – in-house recruiting teams, RPOs, agencies and staffing firms – to answer this question. In addition, they asked both hiring managers and TA leaders from their respective organizations to grade their recruiting team.

TA leaders gave a pretty high grade to their teams, ranging from A to B-, whereas the hiring managers gave a C- to those same teams.

Only one hiring manager in ERE’s State of Talent Acquisition Survey awarded their supporting recruiting team an A this year.

While this may or may not reflect the performance of the actual team, it does show a disconnect between the hiring managers and the recruiting teams they have supporting them.

“The lack of communication between recruiters and hiring managers is the biggest challenge we have in the industry—period,” Steve Lowisz, CEO of Qualigence International, a global recruiting and recruitment research firm told SHRM.

“If there’s a poor relationship, the recruiter is not going to be able to understand what the hiring manager really needs, which leads to mishires, or not hiring at all.”

This view is in-line with the findings in the ERE survey, which found that hiring managers really thought they could hire better than recruiters – but it’s because they’re missing one very important thing.

Hiring managers see a lot of the ‘what,’ but not the ‘why’ behind recruiting decisions.

A main goal for recruiters is always to bring hiring managers quality candidates. But hiring managers may not know the reasons why a recruiter choses a specific candidate over others that may have been qualified.

This may be the origin for the communication gap between TA and other departments.

The survey showed that hiring managers scored the candidates they found themselves, higher than those submitted by the recruiting team.

The 3.6 score they gave to the candidates that came from recruiters was only slightly higher than the 3.5 score that came from job boards and the company career site.

Hiring managers feel they have a better understanding for the needs of the open roles they need filled.

Recruiters need to strive to becoming talent advisors as opposed to talent curators to help change that perception.

In response to the survey, 42 percent of hiring managers indicated they were encouraged by corporate recruiters’ ability to act as a talent advisor.

When they asked the recruiters the same question, 72 percent said they were encouraged by the opportunity to act as talent advisors.

Although this a wide gap, it’s a known fact seasoned recruiters can onboard new employees who really support an organization’s goals.

“The smartest business decision you can make is to hire qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves you thousands, and your business will run smoothly and efficiently.” – Brian Tracy

Good talent advisory comes from an understanding of the role, the organizational goals, as well as an understanding of the hiring manager’s needs.

Better communication to the hiring managers from the recruiters on both their own knowledge and their candidates qualifications, can help bridge this gap.

A lack of structure could be the problem – and is easily fixed.

The apparent lack of communication between recruiters and hiring managers isn’t a new phenomenon.

Glassdoor reported in 2014 that 80 percent of recruiters thought they had a high to very high understanding of the jobs for which they were recruiting.

61 percent of hiring managers reported thinking that recruiters had a very low to moderate understanding of the positions at best.

One potential problem with recruitment communications might be a lack of structure. Hiring managers might think, “There isn’t really a policy, so if I’ve built a relationship with a candidate or agency, then why not use it?”

Some hiring managers might be thinking, the less steps I have to take, the better.

With busy schedules and pressure to perform, hiring managers just want their open roles to be filled. If they see an easy way to do so on their own, they will.

Recruiting managers become invaluable when they become talent advisors and the communication process is streamlined.

Technology can help put parameters around some internal processes.

Human resources (HR) technology can help to streamline the chaos that can come from not having structure around communication for open roles.

If there isn’t a policy in place, hiring managers and recruiters can take several different avenues to fill a role, and lose the opportunity to receive valuable updates and information from one another in the process.

This happens a lot with agency use – hiring managers have sometimes built relationships with agencies in the past, and go straight to them without conferring with the recruiting team first.

By putting everyone under one contract, creating a solid structure around how hiring managers and recruiters work together when sending a job to search.

A lot of our customers are feeling better about the positive relationship they have with their hiring managers – less chaos means less communication lost between the cracks.

Whether it’s a new policy, department structure, or piece of technology that you use to help repair the perception gap between hiring managers and recruiters – the important thing is that the role gets filled with the highest quality candidate possible in the easiest and the most efficient way.

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