‘Listen Up, Hiring Manager’

If you’re a recruiter who feels as though you don’t have the respect of hiring managers, you’re probably not alone.

During a mega-session yesterday titled “Getting Hiring Managers to Focus on Great Recruiting” at Recruiting Trends and Talent Tech event, San Francisco State University Professor John Sullivan said that only one out of three hiring managers think recruiters have a positive impact on their businesses. But he also told those attending that recruiters have a number of options at their disposal for changing that dynamic.

Sullivan said that the best way to get the attention of hiring managers is to approach them with data that matters to them.

Recruiters, he said, shouldn’t waste their time trying to change what hiring managers care about, because they won’t change. Instead, he said, they should focus on what they do care about: money.

“Managers live in a world that’s data driven, but mostly it’s about money,” Sullivan said.

If recruiters want to get through to hiring managers, Sullivan said, they need to be able to explain how what they do impacts each of these four areas: business goals, bonuses, getting promoted and time.

“Don’t bother coming in to talk to hiring managers about diversity or time to hire, because it just glazes them over,” he said. “But if you come in and tell them you can increase their sales by 20 percent, then they will listen to you, instantly.”

Sullivan noted that recruiters have a compelling story to tell. “If you do great recruiting, you can increase revenue by 3.5 times,” he said, adding that leadership development has roughly half that impact.

“Every other manager on the planet measures process effectiveness,” Sullivan said. “But only 33 percent of firms actually measure quality of hire?”

How can recruiters know they are doing a good job if they’re not measuring the right outcomes? he asked.

At the same time, Sullivan said, everyone else in the organization measures failure rates, but not recruiters. (New hires, he said, fail nearly half the time, with a 46 percent churn over an 18 month period.)

Not good, he said.

Sullivan advised those attending to show hiring managers what a weak hire costs their organization. “How much damage can one employee do?” he asked. “A lot. They can cost you 10 times their salary.”

Leave a Reply