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Happy Together

happytogetherLeveraging three tech-driven strategies can improve hiring manager-recruiter relationships.

By Susan Vitale

Let’s face it: Hiring managers and recruiters aren’t always on the same page. Although both parties have the same goal -to find quality candidates for their organization – their working relationship can sometimes be rocky. Is it that hiring managers don’t fully understand what it takes to source, screen, and hire best-fit talent, or do recruiters fail to recognize the key skills, experience, and cultural fit required for some positions? The truth is that there are unique challenges within the business that can make it difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to work in tandem. But there’s a way to strengthen this working relationship. Through the use of the proper talent acquisition technologies, you can turn the tug of war between hiring managers and HR into a higher functioning, mutually beneficial scenario.

Solid relationship building. Recruiting teams can build more effective partnerships with hiring managers by pairing recruitment technology with solid relationship building. An important but often overlooked step in
the recruiting process is having a face-to-face meeting with the hiring manager in order to understand their personality and priorities. A study by the American Sociological Association found that hiring managers often value personal feelings of comfort, validation, and excitement during interviews over technical or cognitive skills. So getting to know the hiring manager could be a recruiter’s best insight to finding the right candidate. This strategy helps forge powerful alliances between hiring managers and recruiters.

Heather O’Callaghan, director of talent acquisition
at Frontpoint Security, finds that custom interview evaluation forms have helped her recruiting team
gain hiring manager feedback quickly and efficiently, capturing recommendations from hiring managers minutes after an interview. “Instant access to information has facilitated quicker turnaround times and created consistency,” she says. “This allows us to evaluate interview feedback quality to audit and improve the substance of question sets, hiring manager feedback, and our screening process. Our new tools have enhanced the hiring manager and recruiter experience while creating a comprehensive, consistent feedback loop.”

Sourcing strategies. Recruiters are no longer the 
only ones on the front lines when it comes to
sourcing candidates. According to a recent survey 
by CareerXRoads, the top source of external hires is generated by employee referrals, so there is huge opportunity for collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters when it comes to sourcing. Tamsin Bencivengo, manager of talent acquisition at Penn National Gaming, has seen the quality of the company’s talent pool increase dramatically since implementing 
a social media recruitment strategy. With over 17,000 employees, Penn National Gaming is “making their 
jobs go viral” by allowing employees to automatically share new jobs on their social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. The company is currently sharing an average of 200 jobs per month through an automated social media recruitment solution, and has received more than 250 interactions with the jobs posted in the past six months.

Considering this, companies should implement a recruitment marketing strategy that enables hiring managers to leverage their own networks for candidates. Additionally, by representing sourcing as a team effort, hiring managers gain visibility into the process and a better understanding of the time and effort it takes to find top talent.

Video’s advantage. According to recent data from
 SHRM, the average time-to-fill rate for an open position is 34 days. On average, an open position yields 100 applications with 75 of them screened by a recruiter, 25 of said resumes passed to the hiring manager, and up to six candidates who are invited for an interview. Take into consideration that the average length of an interview is 40 minutes, and that 33 percent of hiring managers know within 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. If recruiters and hiring managers are not on the same page, both parties feel like they are wasting their time.

Video capabilities offer a great solution to eliminate this issue and speed up the recruiting process. When first experimenting with video screening, Executive Recruiter for Lithia Motors Jordan Allen sent a video request to a candidate who was already scheduled with a flight, car rental, and in-person interview. After viewing the video and showing it to the hiring manager, they immediately could tell that the candidate did not have the right soft skills for the position and would not be a good fit. That’s when Lithia Motors realized the huge time and money saving benefits of video screening capabilities. Allen expects to see a savings of at least $2,000 per month in traveling costs alone through the use of video, and predicts that it will strengthen the relationship with hiring managers.

In a recent report, Aberdeen Group cited that video capabilities are one of the most powerful recruitment tools in the market right now -providing a fast, easy, and affordable path to strengthen the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers while improving talent acquisition results.

Organizations that have the most mutually beneficial recruiter-hiring manager relationships budget time 
to take a high-touch approach at the origin of the
job requisition and then follow up with streamlined, automated recruitment workflows designed to improve everyone’s ability to get to the right candidates faster. By following these guidelines, recruiters can create strong partnerships with hiring managers, leveraging their skills, knowledge, and networks to make the best hires for the organization.

Susan Vitale is chief marketing officer of iCIMS.

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