The Hiring Manager Experience: It is Not What You Think

Dec 15, 2017 - Joe Matar
Hiring managers have limited involvement in the recruitment process and that’s ok. They don’t need an enhanced experience. What they do need is a simple way to approve requisitions, interview candidates, follow up with candidates, and approve offers. The relationship between hiring managers and recruiters has always been tricky. Recruiters expect fast turnaround times and hiring managers often don’t communicate with recruiting teams. While it might seem obvious to blame hiring managers for any hiccups in the recruitment process, the reality is that they are not always given the necessary tools or resources to be successful. Managers set the tone for culture and engagement, so it’s important to make sure they have what they need to approve requisitions and offers. According to Aptitude Research Partners’ 2017 Hire, Engage Retain survey, only 40% of companies have been able to improve hiring manager satisfaction. A negative experience for the hiring manager can trickle down to impact recruiters and even candidates. A positive experience, on the other hand, can greatly impact the bottom line. Aptitude’s 2017 research found that organizations that do improve hiring manager satisfaction were 3 times more likely to reduce time to hire and 2 times more likely to improve quality of hire. So, what do organizations need to consider when improving the hiring manager experience? Below are a few recommendations to consider:

What strategies should you consider?

-Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate: Hiring managers are not the enemy in talent acquisition. Sure, they can slow down the process when they don’t have the information they need or understand timelines. But the reality is that their goal is the same as a recruiter’s goal: to make the best hires. Managers and recruiters can learn from each other. They can work as a team: sharing feedback on candidates and holding each other accountable. Over 60% of companies are investing in services and technology for greater collaboration (according to Aptitude Research Partners’ 2017 Hire, Engage Retain study). -Create Transparency: Transparency is a reality for this new era of talent acquisition, and social media introduces a level of openness that was not part of recruitment ten years ago. Hiring managers are expected to be transparent about their employer brand, financial performance, and engagement. They are expected to be transparent when they engage and interview candidates. According to research by The Talent Board, over 70% of candidates are doing their own research, so hiring managers need to be prepared for a different conversation. And, candidates are expected to be transparent about their experiences and career aspirations. Companies need to prepare hiring managers for what to expect when communicating with candidates today. -Provide Visibility: Hiring managers expect the same level of accountability from recruiters. Hiring managers are not going to be able to approve a requisition or an offer if they don’t know the status of the hiring process or what they should expect. It makes sense: they want to know the timeframe of the process and the timeline for interviewing and hiring candidates. The more communication there is with recruiters, the more positive the experience for the hiring manager. Email is not typically the best way to communicate this information. Organizations should consider more effective communication strategies and invest in tools that help recruiters and hiring managers work together. Some of these tools including messaging, video, and social feeds.

What technology solutions can enable a positive experience?

-Give them What They Need: Most managers lack the tools and resources they need to be successful. Managers want technology to be simple and easy to use. While many solutions in the market focus on the “employer” and the organization, few are committed to giving managers the right information to develop employees, recognize them regularly, and align individual goals with organizational objectives. Hiring managers aren’t going to be excited about using an Applicant Tracking System. Instead, they want tools that will allow them to have visibility in the process and easily engage with candidates. So don’t be afraid to ask your technology vendors how, if at all, they are designing for the hiring manager. Because they should be. -Go Mobile: Mobile in talent acquisition is still immature. Most of the talent acquisition solutions in the market offer some mobile capabilities, although some are more mature than others. According to Aptitude research, only 20% of candidates are applying to a job using a mobile device. It’s easy to conclude that candidates don’t want to apply on mobile but the bigger issue is the difficulty candidates are having trying to apply on mobile. If we fix the experience of mobile, candidates would be applying in droves. The same applies to hiring managers. Right now, most solutions only allow for hiring managers to approve a job or a candidate. Hiring managers want to be able to use their mobile device for all recruitment activities including approving requisitions, scheduling interviews, and approving the offer. In the future, the change to a better mobile experience will happen fast and any technologies that don’t keep up will find themselves way behind. -Avoid the “Ornaments on the Tree” Technology: Hiring managers don’t need the same bells and whistles in a technology solution that recruiters or candidates need. Antiquated solutions are not designed to provide a simple experience for hiring managers. They are designed to help organizations stay compliant and manage a complicated workflow. Hiring managers don’t care about any of that. They want solutions that are simple and allow them to quickly approve requisitions, communicate with candidates, schedule interviews, and sign off on offers. Organizations need to consider more innovative solutions that can be integrated with their existing technology solutions to provide better communication and a better experience for hiring managers. Organizations that provide a superior experience for the individual will outperform their competitors. The experience has a powerful influence over the consumer world and now needs to be part of our workforce. In order for this to happen, companies must shift their view to empowering the individual.

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