"I'll know it when I see it" is often code for "I'm not really sure what I am looking for." This analysis helps them--and you!
When you do a launch conversation with your hiring manager, you get a lot of information about what the hiring manager is looking for. And you help the hiring manager get more clarity as well.
But even so, you may have hiring managers who cannot make a decision to move candidates forward nor can they tell you why the candidates you are presenting are not acceptable. Everyone has a theory about why this happens, including:
This is a case where you can use a simple word table as a visual tool to help the hiring manager. It takes a little time to put it together, but this is truly a case where a picture will save you lots of fruitless discussion time!
First, in a column on the left, list all the requirements for the position. In addition to the official ones, be sure to list anything and everything you’ve heard the hiring manager talk about, even if it was only along the lines of “I’m sure we won’t find this but it would be great if we could”. Include all the soft skills the hiring manager feels are important also.
Then create columns for the best qualified candidates you’ve sent the hiring manager. Pick 3-4, and indicate how they stack up against each listed requirement. You can use a simple 1-2-3 ranking system with 1 being does not meet the requirement, 2 being meets, and 3 being exceeds.
Now set up a meeting with the hiring manager to talk about this analysis that will ensure you send candidates that meet the requirements. Of course you’ve already done that, but no need to rub it in.
Go over the ranking you gave each candidate for each requirement, and ask the hiring manager if they would rank the candidate differently.
You’ll have a very interesting and enlightening conversation with your hiring manager when they see this table. I’ve used this many times to help hiring managers move beyond “send me more resumes.” It will work for you, too.
For more techniques that work right away: http://www.TamingtheWildHiringManager.com/blog/