Imagine for a moment that your recruiters are unstoppable. When given a clear-cut task, they identify the most qualified talent in record-breaking time. They ask the right questions, contact the right people, and produce the right names for each given project. They communicate clearly and listen attentively.
Your hiring managers? Not so much.
Let’s assume that all your hiring difficulties fall on the backs of hiring leaders. As is often the case, they fail to interview with purpose. When handed the most qualified and competitive talent, they struggle to answer questions that produce meaningful answers. Instead, they refer to irrelevant, empty questions for the sake of formality.
Perhaps the hiring leaders have yet to determine what they are looking for; perhaps they have yet to put it into words. In either case, their interviews result in the bypassing of qualified individuals and the hiring of less-than-satisfactory candidates. This leads to poor performance and high turnover.
Often, the recruiters are blamed for producing such meager results.
It is highly unlikely to have a foolproof team of recruiters and an altogether useless team of hiring managers; nonetheless, this scenario points out an extremely common reality. Recruiters often take the fall for incompetent hiring managers, especially as it relates to interviewing flaws. The solution? Hiring leaders must possess a crystal-clear goal for the interviewing process and form their questions around that goal.
This goal must be much more specific than “find the right candidate” or “determine if s/he is qualified.” Isn’t that what all interviews are for? Instead, the interviewer must determine what makes a candidate qualified, what sets him/her apart from other applicants, and how to rank these qualifications. The interviewer must also determine how the candidate is likely to display these qualifications, what soft skills will be required, and whether these soft skills outweigh any hard skill deficiencies.
The more specific the goals, the more rewarding the interview process.
Picture your own team of hiring managers. What process do they use, if any? What questions do they ask in the interview process? If your team struggles to hire qualified talent, stop and think about these questions before heading directly to your recruiters.
You might just be blaming the wrong employees.