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Be clear about needs and expectations, build relationships and offer feedback
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Because hiring managers and HR professionals are inextricably linked throughout the recruitment and hiring process, it's important that their relationships are transparent and free from barriers that can, however inadvertently, lead to inefficiencies and lost opportunities.
Sometimes, problems arise because roles aren't clear, or because one party gives the other misinformation. Sometimes issues stem from lack of awareness that issues even exist.
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Recruiting Internally and Externally]
Ashley Cox, SHRM-CP, is the owner of sproutHR, a Johnson City, Tenn.-based company that works with creative organizations to help them hire, train and lead effective teams. Over the years, she says, the most common pet peeves she's heard from hiring managers are:
David Lewis is president and CEO of OperationsInc, an HR outsourcing and consulting firm based in Norwalk, Conn. Lewis says hiring managers' top pet peeves are:
One of the biggest disconnects between HR and hiring managers is that hiring managers often feel that HR doesn't fully understand their needs or the core requirements of the job they're recruiting for. This can happen when job descriptions are not updated, or when they don't accurately reflect the position. From HR's perspective, frustration can occur when hiring managers don't fully understand the steps required to recruit candidates, to evaluate them, and to handle the administrative and compliance-related details of the hiring process.
It's critical that HR representatives become a part of the hiring process at the outset and that they don't take anything for granted. Pulling up an existing job description to create a job posting, without any interaction with the hiring manager, for example, is a recipe for disaster. At the same time, HR needs to ensure that hiring managers understand the steps in the process.
"Many HR professionals do not do a good enough job of explaining the recruiting cycle to hiring managers," said Brandy Shope, corporate director of human resources at HB McClure Company, a commercial and mechanical contractor in Harrisburg, Pa. The employee-owned company has grown from 200 to 500 employees in six years. That type of growth requires close and effective collaboration between HR and hiring managers.
Shope explained what can create frustration for both HR and hiring managers:
Cox agrees. "We can overcome or avoid many of these pet peeves by educating our hiring managers on the talent acquisition process and the proper steps required to hire the right candidate, legally," she said. "It's one of our greatest responsibilities as HR professionals to help them understand that we must ensure a fair, consistent, legal and effective process for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring top talent."
At the same time, she believes "that it's equally important to listen to our hiring managers' input and take their feedback into consideration. We can ask ourselves, 'Are we creating unnecessary delays or complicating the process? How can we streamline or simplify the process to be more effective? What else can we do to ensure that this process works for our whole team?' "
Best Practice Solutions
Lewis recommended a number of steps that HR professionals and hiring managers can take to minimize barriers and disconnects during the recruitment and hiring process:
As in most business interactions, effective communication is the foundation for successful coordination between HR and hiring managers during the hiring process. To minimize frustration on both sides, being clear about needs and expectations, building relationships, and ensuring timely and transparent feedback can remove barriers.
Lin Grensing-Pophal is a freelance writer in Chippewa Falls, Wis.
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