What A Hiring Manager Doesn’t Know Will Hurt Them.
Most talent acquisition professionals would tell you that there is a huge benefit to having hiring managers well informed prior to interviews. Knowing information about candidates such as their background, career goals and salary expectations are all valuable things for a hiring manager to know.
Much of the time, however, hiring managers go into interviews unprepared, not knowing nearly as much as they should about the candidate. Not being fully prepared may leave a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth and also waste valuable time that could have been spent making sure the candidate was the right fit.
We know hiring managers are extremely busy; they have a lot on their plate outside of hiring. It’s not that they don’t want to be prepared, but things often take priority in doing what talent acquisition professionals might consider to be essential research.
So what can talent acquisition professionals do to ensure that hiring managers are better prepared in a short period of time? For the sake of this post, I am going to skip the obvious things and rather, focus on three things that aren’t always communicated but are essential to making sure the key information is communicated effectively before the interview.
1. Candidate Interest Level
Hiring managers often assume that a candidate coming in for an interview has a high level of interest in the organization. They think if candidates make it to them, it’s a forgone conclusion that they want the role. This isn’t always the case. I like to tell people that there is a wide spectrum that candidates typically fall between. Some candidates absolutely want the job, but some candidates are on the fence and are treating the interview process as a fact-finding mission.
So why is it important to let hiring managers know the difference? The answer is, hiring managers might put more effort into “selling” the role if they know the candidate is passive and needs to be “wooed” into making a move. I am a huge advocate of selling the candidate on the opportunity at every stage of the interview process, but I know the reality is not everyone thinks that way. Informing your hiring manager that a candidate is very passive and needs to be “sold” on the opportunity throughout the process can be a huge benefit.
2. Candidate Timeline
In this tight talent market, I always assume that every candidate I’m interviewing is interviewing with two other companies. If you aren’t communicating this to your hiring manager, you’re doing them a disservice.
Find out if the candidate is interviewing elsewhere. How far are they in the process? Does this opportunity compare with the other roles they are entertaining? This information isn’t just nice to have, it’s imperative if you want to be successful.
3. Candidate Concerns
This last point goes both ways. If there is a concern about a candidate prior to them meeting the hiring manager, those concerns should absolutely be shared this with the hiring manager. Sharing any concerns upfront will not only make sure the interview team is prepared to ask the right questions during the interview, but it will also build trust that you care about putting the right person in the seat.
On the flip side, it’s important to let the hiring manager know if there are concerns that the candidate may have about the organization or if they should address any “hot buttons” for the candidate. These may include opportunities for growth, dynamic team, strong culture. Having the hiring manager know this before the interview will allow them to weave these important selling points into the conversation.
If you aren’t sharing these three things with your hiring managers, I would highly encourage you to do so. Sharing these key points will help make the interview process more efficient and effective and bring the right person into your doors.
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