Hiring managers are exasperated with HR’s inability to fill open requisitions, while at the same time, HR is frustrated with hiring managers who are not making recruitment a priority. There’s a lot of finger pointing going on, all the while positions remain vacant. I call this the Big Disconnect.
The one thing you need to know: HR and hiring managers are playing for the same team. To win the war for talent, both parties must work in tandem with one another.
Here are four ways to improve the working relationship between HR and hiring managers.
1. Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations
Imagine playing on a sports team where there were no rules, no assigned positions, and no expectations. The result would be chaos and probably a lot of injuries!
Yet, when it comes to recruitment, many companies lack clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and expectations for their hiring team, which hurts their ability to find the right players for their company.
Decide who will be responsible for each step of the recruitment process. For example, will HR develop the job description, or will this be done by the hiring manager? Is it okay for a hiring manager to interview candidates prior to HR or must they wait? How long does the recruiter anticipate it will take to fill a particular position and have they communicated this to the hiring manager?
2. Turn your entire team into a recruiting machine
Many managers are given hiring responsibility without much direction. They mistakenly believe it’s HR’s job to deliver suitable candidates to them on a silver platter. That’s not how things work in the real world.
According to SHRM, the national averages across all industries and employer sizes tend to fluctuate between 40-60 open requisitions per recruiter at any one time. That’s an unmanageable workload for even a top recruiter, which is why hiring managers must step up and partner with HR on their hiring needs.
Companies must train all managers on how to attract and hire employees and give them the power to do so. Managers will be prepared to take the lead and relieve some of the pressure recruiters are experiencing.
3. Double down on communication between HR and hiring managers
When it’s been a while since you’ve heard from someone you tend to think you’re no longer a priority. This happens a lot in the world of recruiting.
Take the case of a hiring manager who turns in a requisition and waits patiently for a response. The recruiter may be working diligently on filling this role; however, the manager has no idea this is happening. Or the recruiter, who sends a batch of resumes to the hiring manager, who takes weeks to respond.
Companies should have systems in place that require both parties to check in with one another every step of the way. The recruiter should keep the hiring manager informed of obstacles that may be preventing them from delivering candidates and the hiring manager should be providing timely feedback so the recruiter can fine-tune their search.
4. Be direct and honest with each other
Why is it that so many people have a difficult time being truthful with one another? Rather than begin what may be an uncomfortable conversation, they choose to remain silent. Their silence quickly turns into resentment.
It’s best to be clear and direct with one another. If you feel a recruiter is treating you like a second-class citizen, let them know. You might say something like, “I’m feeling like my requisitions aren’t getting the attention they deserve. What can I do to help you fill these positions faster?”
HR professionals feeling frustrated by a hiring manager’s lack of urgency could say, “We’ve found that there’s a greater chance of filling a job when we’re able to move a candidate through the process in under two weeks. How can I better serve you? When sending resumes, if I don’t hear from you prior, do you want me to follow up with you within 48 hours?”
It’s easy to forget that you are both working together towards the same goal. Remember that by following these four tips – and repair that disconnect.
Roberta Matuson, The Talent Maximizer® and President of Matuson Consulting, helps world-class organizations like General Motors, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Microsoft hire and retain world-class talent. Roberta is the author of six books on talent and leadership, including the newly released, Can We Talk? Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work, and Evergreen Talent. Sign up to receive her free newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®. Follow her on Twitter.
Frequently asked questions
What causes the disconnect between HR and hiring managers?
The disconnect stems from unclear roles, responsibilities, and expectations, as well as poor communication and collaboration.
How can the relationship between HR and hiring managers be improved?
Improve by clearly defining roles, involving your entire team in recruitment, enhancing communication, and practicing honest and direct conversations.
What should hiring managers contribute to the recruitment process?
Hiring managers should actively collaborate with HR, participate in attracting and hiring employees, and offer timely feedback on candidates.
How can communication between HR and hiring managers be strengthened?
Implement systems requiring regular check-ins and updates, ensuring both parties remain informed about recruitment progress.
Why is honest and direct communication important between HR and hiring managers?
Open communication helps address concerns, prevents resentment, and promotes better collaboration.