How to conquer 5 prominent recruiting challenges
I recently read an ERE.net article,“5 Things Recruiters Loathe But Hate to Admit,” which outlines some recruiters’ biggest pet peeves. The article describes overly persistent candidates, VIP hires, unavailable hiring managers, bad hires, and time-to-fill ratios. More than just annoyances, these issues are challenges that recruiters must face. And recruiters that put relentless focus and passion into overcoming these obstacles will reap the benefits (and sanity of sleeping at night).
Here is my advice to recruiters on how to overcome these five common challenges.
Overly persistent candidates. Candidates are excited by dynamic, progressive, and responsive companies. Many times it’s up to recruiters to build this excitement from the first interaction with the candidate. Therefore, it’s no wonder why candidates are persistent. The best way to navigate an overzealous candidate is to set clear follow-up expectations and to be honest. Many times this means assuring the candidate that any delay is probably tied to the process for obtaining feedback, as opposed to having to do with them directly. Let the person know that you appreciate his or her excitement about the opportunity.
VIP hires. If a high-ranking executive wants a certain (perhaps unqualified) individual hired right away, your best bet is to compromise with the executive. Let the executive know that you appreciate the referral and will ensure that the candidate is considered, but that you will need his or her administration to help with any follow-up with the candidate that extends beyond the normal recruiting processes.
Unavailable hiring managers. To deal with this type of challenging hiring manager (which my colleague Donna Vespe describes as the disappearing hiring manager), set up an introduction call at the onset of the job opening. During this time, it’s essential that you establish a partnership with the manager. Share all of the steps and actions that you will be taking and explain the necessary stages in which the manager must be available and responsive. Don’t leave the meeting (or end the call) until you come to agreement. Then follow up with an email that documents the agreement.
Bad hires. Most companies use very methodical and comprehensive practices to select the best applicant, and many recruiters rely on a specific profile for sourcing. But there are occasions when attrition occurs early, right after the new hire begins working. At the time of offer, tell the selected applicant that this is an opportunity for them to withdraw if they heard or felt anything that makes them unwilling to perform the job functions. Sometimes a candidate needs to hear that it is OK to withdraw. Good recruiters will likely have candidate #2 ready to go. Additionally, make sure that you are providing a real-life job preview early in the selection process.
Time-to-fill ratios. Consider metrics such as time-to-present or time-to-identify — measures that are more meaningful to recruiter performance. Then track any delay from time-to-present to time-to-fill. These metrics will help identify trends and might help you deal with M.I.A. hiring managers.