By now, it’s a well-accepted fact that the job market has struggled to stabilize over the past couple of years. Job seekers – both active and passive – have hit roadblock after roadblock, and apparently, they aren’t alone. Corporate hiring managers looking to bring new talent on board are also facing their own set of challenges.
Case in point: I recently met with executives to discuss their recruiting needs and challenges, and was surprised to hear that despite today’s large pool of jobseekers, talent acquisition has been a bumpy road. Slow candidate submittals and untimely recruiter responses seem to be the trend, resulting in frustration and confusion.
So whats’s going on? How has this disconnect arisen between management and recruiters?
In a word: communication. Or rather, lack thereof.
It’s important to remember that many hiring managers don’t understand your process and aren’t very interested. What’s important to them is the efficiency of candidate submittals. Of course they want to see candidates right now. And it’s up to you to continually set expectations and repeatedly explain the process every step of the way.
What are you doing all day?
Non-HR/Staffing people have no idea what you, as a recruiter, are doing. They have no idea that it can take ten minutes or more to filter one applicant’s resume through a cumbersome ATS that contains gazillions of drop-down boxes and required fields. They likewise don’t know that three interviews can kill two hours – or more! – of your day, and that you are juggling hundreds of candidates, negotiating offers for multiple hiring managers and trying to source the Internet for passive candidates. Sourcing the Internet alone can make one hour go by in the blink of an eye.
And unfortunately they don’t want to know the nitty-gritty details either. What they do need to know, however, is when they can realistically expect to see the first round of resumes and when you’ll provide feedback from your phone screens. When you discuss the job requirements with hiring managers (you should have already researched the market data), make your recommendations and let them know when they can realistically expect to hear from you. And then, no matter the results, respond to them.
Never walk away from a meeting or hang-up a call without letting them know the turnaround time or next steps. When you set expectations properly and follow-up no matter what, you'll be winning even if the req hasn't been filled, yet.