5 Best Practices for Collaborative Recruiting

Recruiting is a fiercely competitive business. The firms that survive and thrive are able to consistently source, recruit and submit the best candidates to their clients in the shortest amount of time. It sounds simple enough but on a daily basis, recruiters are juggling a dizzying array of people – clients, team members, hiring managers, candidates – and tasks to keep the hiring process moving forward and deliver results. Collaboration with your team, hiring managers and candidates is critical to operating efficiently and repeatedly making successful placements. Here are five tips for collaborating effectively to ensure you deliver the best candidates to your clients, faster than any other recruiter.

1. Build Strong Relationships with Hiring Managers.

Building and maintaining a strong relationships with hiring managers based on honest communication and trust is critical to successfully working together. You and your hiring managers may have different perspectives and expectations when it comes to hiring. Make it a point to understand their goals and responsibilities and how each hire impacts them.

In addition, be mindful of the fact that unlike you, talent acquisition is not their main focus. Meet with your hiring managers to gain an understanding of their experience and comfort level with the hiring process. Set them up for success by educating them on the current state of the talent market and helping them set realistic goals.

Your value and responsibility in this process is to help the hiring managers succeed. This depends on strong relationships based on mutual respect, open communication, and a clear understanding of each other’s role and responsibilities.

2. Gain a Deep Understanding of the Requisition.

Good recruiters go way beyond the job description to gain a thorough understanding of the open position. This goes back to communicating with hiring managers. Asking the right questions helps ensure the job description accurately reflects the demands and experience needed for the position and reveals additional information that could help you find the ideal candidate.  Some of the questions Roy Maurer, online editor for SHRM, suggests asking to gain a deeper knowledge of the position are:

  • What is the reporting structure?
  • Who will be the new employee’s direct reports or will he/she be an individual contributor?
  • What is the reason for the opening?
    • How long has the position been open?
    • Are there any difficulties facing the team (high turnover, not enough budget, skills gaps)?
    • What are the advancement opportunities of the position?
    • What are the long-term objectives of the position?
    • What are the short-term objectives?
    • What are the preferred skills for the candidate to be successful?
    • What does your ideal candidate look like?

Asking these questions will help you gain a clearer understanding of the requisition. It will also help you gauge if hiring managers have realistic expectations and comp and benefits packages strong enough to land the types of candidates they’re looking for.

3. Use a Collaboration Tool.

New recruitment management software options have made it so much easier to seamlessly and quickly collaborate with team members, hiring managers and candidates through one shared view of all activities, updates and conversations. A major hurdle for recruiters handling multiple requisitions at the same time is keeping all parties informed, updated and operating efficiently. When it comes to submitting and hiring the right candidate quickly, real-time communication, updates and feedback are critical. A collaboration tool helps easily facilitate conversations, ensure all parties have the most up-to-date information and stay organized throughout the recruiting process.

4. Schedule Regular Meetings with Hiring Managers

It’s wise to have regularly scheduled meetings with your hiring managers. Although using an online collaboration tool should alleviate the need for discussing status updates and other administrative tasks, scheduled meetings will help keep an open dialogue for changes in the hiring process, position requirements and team priorities. It helps keep the recruitment process nimble enough to adjust to changes and still deliver the best candidate for the job. Some questions to address during these meetings are:

  • Have any requirements for the position(s) changed?
  • Any shift in team priorities since our last meeting?
  • Are we evaluating technical skills and interpersonal skills in the same way?
  • Are there any changes or events coming up that might affect or stall hiring for the position(s)?

For some positions the recruitment and hiring processes may move too quickly for these meetings to be necessary; however, for requisitions that span several weeks or months, there will likely be changes within the company or team that affect their needs for the open positions.  

5. Know HR’s Process and Role in Candidate Approval.

The role of HR in the hiring process varies from company to company and so does how in sync hiring managers are with HR. There could be an internal approval process once a candidate is submitted or selected within the HR organization that goes beyond the hiring manager, as well as certain criteria that isn’t necessarily part of the job description or communicated to you by the hiring manager. A brief meeting with a representative within the HR department involved in the candidate selection and/or hiring process is a valuable step to getting a holistic view of the process so you can inform and prepare your candidate and in some cases, the hiring manager of what to expect.
Collaborative recruiting eases recruitment challenges, helps eliminate communication errors and minimizes process stalls and disruptions. To emerge as one of the top recruiting agencies capable of consistently delivering the best candidates in the shortest amount of time, collaboration is critical. Use the techniques above to effectively collaborate with each person involved in the process, take ownership of your requisitions and deliver optimal results.

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