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Hiring Managers and HR Managers: Work Together and Win

Hiring Managers and HR Managers: Work Together and Win

By: Roberta Matuson

The saying, “two heads are better than one” is especially true when it comes to recruiting. In fact, two heads can significantly reduce the time to hire the right candidate. And more often than not those two heads are shouldered by a hiring manager and HR manager, working together harmoniously.

The strength of this pairing is crucial to a successful recruiting cycle. A united front signals to top candidates that collaboration is part of the corporate DNA. Don’t forget -- teamwork and collaboration are highly regarded by today’s job seekers, especially Millennials. 

A recent study conducted by the Intelligence Group, a division of the Creative Artists Agency that focuses on analysis of youth-focused consumer preferences and trend forecasting, found that 88% of Millennials prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one. And there’s no better way to demonstrate a collaborative culture than in the hiring process.

Here’s how hiring managers and HR managers can work together to win talent.

Agree on the Hiring Process and Timeline 
The best way to reduce the time to hire is to start on the same page. 

Hiring managers and HR managers must clearly define the job to be filled, as well as the requirements to be successful in this position. HR managers must be candid with hiring managers regarding the pool of available talent and the expected time to fill an open position. Hiring managers should then adjust their time to hire expectations accordingly.

HR managers and hiring managers should come to agreement on the following: 

-    Who will receive the resumes and then pre-screen candidates

-    If HR handles these tasks, what is the timeline for screening resumes, pre-screening candidates and presenting candidates to the hiring manager? 

-    How quickly will the hiring manager respond to HR after receiving resumes and interviewing candidates

-    Who will be responsible for checking references and extending the job offer?

Clarifying the allocation of these tasks will make for a more harmonious and efficient recruiting cycle. 

Establish Networking Ground Rules
Not long ago, hiring managers solely relied on their HR partners to provide them with qualified candidates. Today, HR managers are working 24/7 to keep up with the hiring demands of their companies, while also handling other HR responsibilities. 

Progressive HR leaders welcome all the help they can get from their hiring managers, especially when they tap their networks to find the ideal candidate.

This is another area of opportunity for HR managers and hiring managers to work hand-in-hand to come up with a strategy across company and individual networks. These collaborative points might include the following:

-    Decide in advance who will approach industry trade associations or vendors that may be a source of potential candidates. 

-    Set clear boundaries regarding social media. What social media channels will be used and what unified message will be shared? 

-    Establish clear parameters in regards to discussing compensation. For example, when networking, is it permissible for hiring managers to discuss salary ranges or is this something HR managers prefer that they refrain from talking about? 

-    When having conversations with those in your network, is it permissible to openly discuss the reason a position has become available? Or would the HR manager prefer to discuss this with qualified candidates?

Commit to Moving Forward Together
The ability to reduce the time to hire and successfully make a job offer often relies on moving the hiring process forward at a steady pace. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the hiring manager’s attention to be diverted during the hiring process, just when they're most needed. 

HR managers and hiring managers should discuss any obstacles that might slow down the hiring process. For example: 

-    If the hiring manager will be out of the office during a critical point in the hiring process, contingency plans should be made. 

-    If appropriate, arrangements should be made for the hiring manager’s second in command to handle in-person interviews. Or plan for the hiring manager to interview candidates remotely, using Skype, so that the hiring process moves forward in a seamless manner. 

Successful collaboration depends on open communication and common goals. In the case of recruiting, close collaboration is essential to hiring great candidates -- in less time.